Shooting organisations have voiced their concern after it recently emerged that an early day motion (EDM), launched in June, has now attracted the support of 10% of all MPs.

The EDM, which was put forward by Labour MP David Taylor, calls on the government to ban the rearing of game birds for sport.

It states: ?This House notes that every year around 35million pheasants and 6million partridges are purpose-bred in cages, sheds and pens so they can be released and shot for sport; is concerned about the suffering endured by these birds and by the large number of indigenous wild mammals and birds that are trapped, snared, poisoned and shot to protect this activity; is alarmed by the thousands of tons of lead shot and plastic casings discharged annually by live quarry shooters, and also by the disruption caused to native wildlife at the start of each shooting season.?

Some shooting groups are worried this EDM could eventually lead to a Private Members? Bill calling for a total ban on driven game shooting.

The Countryside Alliance?s chief executive, Simon Hart, told Shooting Times magazine that though EDMs merely allow MPs to express their support for an issue, it is something that the shooting community needs to be mindful of: ?I find this EDM extremely disturbing, but not surprising. To date, 66 MPs have signed Mr Taylor?s EDM. That means more than 10% of MPs currently sitting in the House of Commons want to ban game shooting.?

Mr Hart added: ?Only one Conservative MP, Ann Widdecombe, has signed the EDM together with a few Liberal Democrats. The majority of signatories are Labour MPs. There are some Labour MPs, such as the Countryside Alliance?s chairman, Kate Hoey, who support shooting, but it is an unavoidable fact this is a predominately Labour-driven EDM. I doubt the signatories have read Labour?s Charter for Shooting or even know it exists. Perhaps they have forgotten Labour?s manifesto commitment to protect shooting??

A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers? Organisation concurred.

He said the signatories seem to have skewed priorities: ?Here we are in the longest recession in living memory, with some MPs having been caught thieving taxpayers? money, yet we have a bunch of them choosing this time to propose hitting the rural economy. Fortunately, we will not have long to wait before we can use the ballot box to return the favour.?

However, BASC?s director of communications, Christopher Graffius commented that though shooters should be made fully aware of the politicians? view of fieldsports, it was a mistake for shooting organisations to cause panic among shooters.

He told said: ?BASC is never complacent about the political threats to shooting, but it is important to be clear-sighted about the level of threat. EDMs are a form of Parliamentary graffiti, they have no government support and are never debated. This EDM was tabled in the early summer, probably at the instigation of an anti-fieldsports organisation. It is hardly news.?

Shooting Times magazine contacted Mr Taylor and several of the signatories for comment, but received no response.

You can find out if your MP has signed up to Mr Taylor?s EDM by visiting http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=38871&SESSION=899

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