As opinion polls continue to indicate that next week’s election will be one of the closest fought political battles in many years, this week Shooting Times has interviewed the three main parties’ rural affairs spokesmen on a range of subjects, canvassing their parties’ views on issues as varied as tackling poaching, the reintroduction of target pistols and the recently finalised gamebird code in England.

The responses underline the varied positions the parties take in certain policy areas — most notably the Hunting Act — but also illustrate a degree of consensus in other areas. For example, on lead shot, while Labour’s Hilary Benn says that We need to deal with the issue of lead from shooting in the environment, both the Conservatives’ James Paice and the Lib Dems’ Tim Farron state that while the information generated by the recently formed Lead Ammunition Group is of importance, the issue of lead s hot should not be a priority for DEFRA.

The rest of this article appears in 28th April issue of Shooting Times.

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