British Game Assurance has launched a new free to join scheme for any shoot wanting to try out membership of the shot assurance scheme

Joining the scheme will allow shoots to advertise as ‘associated with British Game Assurance’. This allows shoots to explore accreditation without the financial outlay or requirement for audit visits.

A move towards self regulation through British Game Assurance (BGA) has been heavily promoted by both shooting groups and the government. British Game Assurance CEO Liam Stokes said: “Defra has told us what we need to do; we need as many shoots as possible to register with BGA. We at BGA have had to think about how we can deliver this at a time when shoots are under enormous pressure and uncertainty. We believe that broadening access to our associate scheme, and making it free to participate, is the fairest way to make sure everyone can participate in the self-regulation.”

Under the revamped ‘associate’ scheme, all shoots that adhere to the Code of Good Shooting Practice and the Wild Game Guide will be able to register for free. All that is required is a name, a shoot name, an email address and a tick box declaration of compliance with the Code of Good Shooting Practice and the Wild Game Guide. Shoots which register as ‘associates’ will be able to sell their shooting through BGA registered agents. However full BGA membership will still be required to sell birds as BGA assured game through BGA registered game dealers and processors.

Liam explained: “We will continue to hone our fully Certified BGA Assurance Scheme for those shoots that supply assured game to the game meat market. We are game shooting’s only assurance scheme and the demand for assured game will only grow. For everyone else, the option to associate with BGA means every shoot can do their bit for the future of shooting.”

British Game Assurance has survived a torrid first few years with a change of leadership, a change of name and enormous disruption to the shooting calendar from Covid and from avian influenza. It remains to be seen whether this move will help to give fresh impetus to the organisation or will, as some fear, be looked at as a watering down of its standards.