BASC has revealed the identity of its new chief executive, announcing that Richard Ali, former chief executive of the English Beef and Lamb Executive, will take over from John Swift early next year.

Chairman Martyn Howat said that Mr Ali?s experience of airgun, shotgun and rifle shooting, coupled with management experience from a career centred on food, farming and the countryside ? covering UK, European and international issues ? made him the outstanding candidate.

?We are delighted that our search to fill the biggest job in shooting has been successful,? said Martyn.

?Richard Ali is an outstanding individual who brings a huge amount of experience of business and politics to the role of chief executive.?

Mr Ali, who grew up on a farm in the West Pennine Moors, said: ?Sporting shooting is an important part of life and the countryside, and BASC is central to the future well-being of the sport. I am committed to promoting and protecting sporting shooting.?

?I want to see BASC grow, and I look forward to meeting and listening to BASC members from across the UK. I want to understand members? interests, concerns and their hopes for BASC and for the sport.?

Mr Ali previously worked as an analyst for the US Embassy in London, where he acted as a liaison between US veterinary agencies and the UK State Veterinary Service, and he also served as director of food policy at the British Retail Consortium, representing food retailers? interests at UK and EU level.

Martyn Howat also paid tribute to John Swift, who became BASC?s chief executive in 1988.

He said: ?Under John Swift?s leadership, [BASC] has become the UK?s largest shooting organisation and a representative body for shooting sports.?

Mr Swift will continue to provide support to BASC and continue his work in the international field and on lead ammunition.

The recruitment of Mr Ali was managed by the BASC Council, which appointed a subcommittee of elected members to work with executive recruitment consultant FWB Ltd.

The decision to appoint Mr Ali was unanimous.