In the past year it has been cited by numerous politicians and shooting organisations as tangible evidence of the industry’s economic, environmental and social benefits.

The headline figure of shooting’s value of £1.6billion has been oft-quoted but, significantly, the report has been used to support shooting at government level, notably at the recent party political conferences.

Christopher Graffius, of BASC, told ST: “What has been especially gratifying during the recent party conferences is to hear MPs, such as Don Foster, Martin Salter and Jonathan Shaw, quoting from the PACEC report in speeches renewing their commitment to shooting.”

The Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner agreed the cost of commissioning the report was well justified: “The findings of the PACEC report are the ammunition we use daily to promote shooting to the public, politicians and the government. They reinforce our arguments, especially on the importance of the industry to the rural economy, and ensure that it has to be taken seriously. PACEC is a huge addition to the body of evidence we have to prove the overall benefits of shooting.”

The rest of this article will appear in the 4 October issue of Shooting Times.