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Game shooting must show it is able to self-regulate

Shooting must “put its house in order” to avoid government regulation, the GWCT annual game management conference was told.

More than 100 delegates from across the shooting community attended Game 24, held in Leyburn, North Yorkshire. 

Former Defra minister and GWCT chairman Sir Jim Paice opened the conference by highlighting the risks for the shooting community of stalling on self-regulation. “When people complain that shooting is totally unregulated, government needs to be able to say it has proof that it has its house in order, otherwise regulation will follow,” he said. 

“Game shooting does so much good for the countryside and UK biodiversity and it’s vital we have the evidence to prove it. That’s why voluntary accreditation in the form of initiatives like Aim to Sustain’s new Game Assurance Scheme are so important.” 

The event staged multiple presentations covering accreditation schemes and the use of data in defence of best practice, among others. 

In his closing speech, Aim to Sustain chairman Ian Coghill underscored the need for the sector to demonstrate beyond doubt that shooting is for the “greater good of the countryside”.