The Countryside Alliance last week conducted its own analysis of the rural policies as presented by the three main parties in the run-up to the election. The campaign group highlighted the fact that the Labour Party has dropped from its manifesto the commitment it has made in previous years “not to bring forward any restrictions on the sport of shooting”.

In previous elections, Labour has published the commitment either as part of its manifesto, as in 2001, or as part of a separate rural manifesto, as in 2005. This year, in its 78-page manifesto, A future fair for all published last week, there was no mention of shooting sports, though the party did note: “We have banned foxhunting and animal testing for cosmetics and tobacco, and we will bring forward further animal welfare measures.” This mirrored the contents of a letter relating to Labour’s animal welfare track record that was sent directly last week to a member of Shooting Times’s staff by one campaigning Labour MP. It promoted the party’s credentials by highlighting how the Government had recently instigated a ban on raised laying cages.

The rest of this article appears in 21st April issue of Shooting Times.

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