In his first public speech, Richard Ali, the new chief executive of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), made a call for shooting groups to work closely to challenge ignorance about shooting sports. At the annual general meeting of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), held last week at JCB’s headquarters in Staffordshire, Mr Ali told an audience of more than 300 that there should be greater co-operation between like-minded bodies. “It should be self-evident that united we stand, divided we fall,” he said, adding that his door will always be open to the NGO. Geoff Garrod, NGO vice-chairman, responded warmly to working with you and attacking the enemy as one.”

Mr Ali also spoke about the threat to lead shot, making BASC’s stance on the matter clear. He said: “No evidence, no change,” adding that the shooting community must demand evidence-based decision-making from our regulators. But he added: “If we expect regulators to be evidence-based, then we ourselves also have a duty to be driven by evidence and have the highest standards. Indeed, membership bodies like BASC and the NGO are uniquely placed to provide the Government with evidence and promote high standards.” Mr Ali issued a warning to those who do not comply with current non-toxic legislation: “It’s not clever, it’s not big and their actions could end up costing everyone in this room and far beyond very dear indeed.”

The rest of this article appears in the 24th April issue of Shooting Times.

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