2 August 2002

CA welcomes shoot pledge

THE Countryside Alliance has welcomed assurances from rural affairs minister Alun Michael that the government has no plans to interfere with shooting and his encouragement to young people to take up the sport.

"We are encouraged by the ministers clear support for all kinds of shooting," said Nigel Davenport, director of the Alliances campaign for shooting. "We feel that shooting provides an environment where a young person can learn self discipline in safe surroundings and, at the same time, become responsible for their actions."

A survey, commissioned by the alliance revealed recently that 77% of the public said it was better for children to learn to shoot than play video games or watch adult films.

Speaking at the Country Land and Business Association Game Fair at Broadlands, Hants last week, Mr Michael promised that the government had no plans to intervene in the sport. "We have a clear manifesto commitment not to interfere with the sports of shooting or fishing. But there have been those who have tried to imply that there are threats to both."

After recently enjoying his first taste of clay pigeon shooting, Mr Michael acknowledged the contribution shooting made to the countryside. "The future of rural communities and their economies depends on a variety of activities practised by those who live in the countryside and those attracted to it. Shooting makes a big contribution to that process." &#42