The future of shooting is looking bright as new 'Aim to Sustain' partnership is launched
At the Game Fair at Ragley Hall today nine rural organisations will be launching a sustainable game shooting alliance called Aim to Sustain. There are a lot of organisations with an interest in game shooting, which is no surprise given the size and diversity of the sector.
Aim To Sustain has been created so that those organisations can work more closely to promote the crucial role that sustainable game shooting plays in delivering biodiversity gain, protecting the countryside and sustaining rural communities. Crucially, it will do that through nine organisations standing together to deliver the strongest possible message to politicians and the public.
Whilst those organisations have been increasingly co-ordinated in recent years, there has often been a perception that there has been duplication of effort and a lack of a shared strategy. A public alliance should, therefore, also reassure all those with an interest in sustainable game shooting that whichever organisations they are members of we are all working together to deliver the most effective campaign for shooting.
Ian Botham, writing in today's Telegraph, said: "It is very satisfying to announce the failure of your opponents. Yet today I can say with great confidence that those obsessives who have been trying to ban game shooting have lost the battle. The big development has been in your local supermarkets – Sainsbury’s, M&S and Waitrose all now stock game meat."
Botham added: "More major chains are set to follow as the public appetite grows. It means that game dealers are approaching the new shooting season with empty freezers and big order books. This is an extraordinary turnaround from the days when game meat was given away. The Great British public are voting with their wallets."
The Countryside Alliance’s Chair, Lord Herbert, will initially co-chair Aim to Sustain with British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Chair Eoghan Cameron.
The other organisations committed to the partnership are the British Game Alliance (BGA), Country Land & Business Association (CLA), Game Farmers’ Association (GFA), Moorland Association (MA), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) and Scottish Land and Estates (SLE). The charity Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is acting as advisor to the group.
The organisations will work together to communicate to the public and decision-makers how sustainability is at the core of progressive game management. The partnership will also promote the highest standards of self-regulation and produce credible, robust and focused research.