Country sports slips off Nick Browns agenda

4 August 2000

Country sports slips off Nick Browns agenda

FARM minister Nick Brown has infuriated the field sports lobby by addressing a conference at last weeks Game Fair without mentioning country pursuits.

In a wide ranging speech to European rural leaders at the Friends of the Countryside conference at Blenheim Palace near Oxfordshire, Mr Brown spoke at length about the urgent need for reform of the CAP but failed to mention country sports.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance slated Mr Browns failure to recognise country pursuits £3.8bn contribution to the British economy and promised to step up protests.

"The Alliance autumn offensive will involve regional rallies of rural focus groups, concentrating on the issues of liberty and livelihoods. There will be a training session for what could be one of the biggest marches ever to be held in London (next year)," said Mr Burge. The last rural rally held in March 1998 attracted more than 300,000 protesters.

The Countryside Alliance also plans to target the next Labour Party conference. "We will have a substantial presence at the Labour Party conference this autumn," said Mr Burge. "Also planned are numerous local and national events which will remind the prejudiced back-benchers that hunting is not for sale," he added.

&#8226 More on Game Fair – Farmlife. page 8.

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