The below letter, signed by Keepers Choice among several other names across the industry, featured in The Shooting Times at the beginning of May…
Self-regulation is essential if game shooting is to prosper and attract future generations.
Failure to uphold best practice across the board risks Whitehall mandarins running field sports in the UK – and to demonstrate that our house is truly in order, all shoots and game farms should embrace assurance schemes such as that run by the British Game Alliance (BGA). That Coronavirus restrictions currently prevent inspections should not be a deterrent – signing-up now is a signal of the industry’s commitment moving forward.
We still hear of some trading rearing stock which lacks the requisite due diligence, and of those failing to keep proper records on medication. While an increasing number of shoots have submitted to annual audit, there remains many who have not. This is surprising as the vast majority resisting inspection run excellent operations and would gain from the recognised assurance it would give.
The alternative to the current arrangement is to place the sector at the behest of officials, possibly from outside the sector altogether. It poses the prospect that even shoot days themselves could be subject to external scrutiny – an official inspecting guns, licenses, ammunition and the number of birds shot.
We believe it is perfectly reasonable for shoots to abide by the standards stipulated for game sold into the food chain. Such a move would not only raise ethics, but set a recognised modus operandi for young people seeking a career in game and conservation.
Richard Leach (Keepers Choice Game Feeds), The Game Farmers Association (GFA), Robert Adkins (Southerly Park), Alan Anderson (Heygates), Chris Bright (Bright Seeds), Steve Burnhill (Northern Game Feeds), Henry Cousins (Pearce Seeds), Dan Day (A-One Game), John Forbes (East Coast Viners), Geoff Homewood (Top-Gun Game Feeds), Dawn Jones & Stephen Howes (Massey Feeds), Chris Jenkins (Marsdens), Kayleigh Johnson (Bartholomews), James Marriage (W & H Marriage & Sons), Antony Merrin (Primary Diets), Mark Rawding (Crown Game Feeds), Richard Soloducha (Estate Country Animal Feeds Ltd), Duncan Wheatley (Marsdens)