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 per cent of all MPs.

The EDM, which was put forward by Labour MP David Taylor, calls on the Government to ban the rearing of gamebirds 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 that 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 that this EDM could eventually lead to a Private Members’ Bill calling for a total ban on driven gameshooting. The Countryside Alliance’s chief executive Simon Hart told Shooting Times 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 per cent of MPs currently sitting in the House of Commons want to ban gameshooting.”

The rest of this article appears in 11th November issue of Shooting Times.

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