COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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Shooting

Shooting is worth £2 billion annually to the rural economy and supports 74,000 jobs. Over 600,000 people shoot and over 2 million hectares are actively managed for shooting in the UK. Yet shooting faces regular threats whether through restrictions on the guns we use, the ammunition we fire, the birds we rear, the land we use or our very presence in the countryside we love. The Countryside Alliance works to promote and protect the enormous contribution traditional shooting activity makes to the economy, communities and the environment.

Our public opinion research drives our campaign and ensures that we know which buttons to press to address public and political opinion. Our hugely successful Game-to-Eat campaign, which has increased sales of healthy, environmentally friendly game by more than 60 per cent, is a direct outcome of our research and hard work. Other Alliance projects, include getting more young people involved in shooting and National Shooting Week, which has introduced thousands of newcomers to the sport, all help to make shooting accessible and create new attitudes towards shooting.

The Countryside Alliance has the experience and the expertise to fight the big battles for the future of shooting in Westminster, Brussels and the devolved parliaments, as well as in the national and local media.

Campaigns - Shooting:

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Dog control powers - "no concerns" for responsible dog owners

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: Legislation on dogs has proved hazardous ground for politicians from the Dog Licence to the Dangerous Dogs Act. When the British obsession with canines comes up against our law makers problems usually ensue. There is, however, clearly a problem with some dogs, and more specifically some dog owners, and their impact on neighbours and wider communities. A few cases are immeasurably worse and, as we have seen on several occasions recently, dogs can kill. There are already laws which could address at least some of this behaviour, although they can be difficult to enforce, but politicians faced with a problem will always come up with new laws and that is what this Government has just done.

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“Illogical” RSPB motivated by “dislike of grouse shooting”

Thursday, 13 November 2014

In rejecting the full publication of the Hen Harrier Joint Action Plan, the RSPB has reinforced the view that it is motivated more by a dislike of grouse shooting than by a concern for hen harriers. The Countryside Alliance once again calls on Defra to publish the plan in full. The Countryside Alliance supports the Hen Harrier Joint Action Plan and has been campaigning for it to be published and implemented for many months now, in conjunction with other bodies including the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. However on its website today the RSPB has posted: “The RSPB is today urging Defra to publish the workable elements of the Hen Harrier Action Plan, which we believe could bring about the recovery of one of England’s most beleaguered birds of prey. However, we're also highlighting its rejection of one point of the six-point plan, known as brood management, as we believe that immediate removal of chicks from the wild and rearing them in aviaries is unacceptable and legally ambiguous.”

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Welcoming Quito decision on lead shot

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Countryside Alliance has welcomed a decision taken at the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in Quito last week to allow countries to make their own decisions on whether to phase out of lead ammunition. The ‘Guidelines to Prevent the Risk of Migratory Birds’ now state: “it is for each Party to determine whether or how to implement the phase out of lead ammunition”. Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns, said: “We are very glad that an attempt to get the CMS to advise all parties to implement a blanket ban on lead shot has failed.

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The hen harrier is tracked

More questions than answers from Hen Harrier tracking data

Thursday, 6 November 2014

New data published by Natural England on its hen harrier tracking programme does not offer any explanation for the lack of expansion of the English population of the bird, according to the Countryside Alliance. Of the 47 hen harriers that Natural England has tracked since 2007, the actual location of 37 birds is unknown. Of the remaining 10, four are known to still be alive, and six have been found dead. It has been determined that predation and disease were responsible for five of those deaths. The sixth bird may have been illegally shot.

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New approach to ACPO firearms campaign

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Countryside Alliance have agreed a joint letter to all firearms licence holders clarifying the recent ACPO firearms security campaign as a result of concerns raised by thousands of Countryside Alliance supporters and licence holders. The ACPO campaign was launched on 13 October announcing spot checks on licensees and urging the public to use a dedicated Crimestoppers line to report signs of “radicalism, extremism and vulnerability to terrorism” among gun owners. The Alliance was concerned that the move went beyond the scope of changes to Home Office guidance which had been agreed by shooting organisations and therefore encouraged our members and supporters to lobby their MPs for clarification. Following a meeting between the Alliance, the Home Office and ACPO in Downing Street on 24 October a new approach was agreed.

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New firearms guidance from the Home Office - our advice to certificate holders

Monday, 13 October 2014

Shotgun and firearm certificate holders have a legal responsibility to ensure that their guns are always kept securely, so as to prevent possession by unauthorised persons. The Countryside Alliance fully supports this responsibility, one which is taken very seriously by the overwhelming majority of shooters. From 15th October the police will be checking that guns are being securely stored, by way of unannounced visits to certificate holders. New Guidance from the Home Office has been published as follows:

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Shooting generates £2bn, boosts conservation and provides jobs

Monday, 7 July 2014

Shooting is worth £2 billion a year to the UK economy and provides significant conservation benefits according to the results of independent research released today (click here) by leading shooting and countryside organisations, including the Countryside Alliance.

The figures are outlined in a new report – The Value of Shooting – conducted by Cambridge-based Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC). It is the most comprehensive research into the economic, environmental and social contributions of shooting ever undertaken in the UK.

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Tim Bonner blogs on gunmakers and the case for lead shot

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: I dropped in to a long established Oxfordshire gun shop recently to thin out my gun cabinet and get a new 20 bore for the boy who is graduating from one barrel to two. Any gunshop is a joy, but this one was especially distracting because alongside the Berettas and Brownings are the whole range of the gunmakers art from Damascus barrels and hammers through to the ultimate development of the English side-by-side shotgun which occurred not in this century, but in the first quarter of the last. It is extraordinary to think that guns being produced in London, and on a much larger scale in Spain and elsewhere on the continent, have not changed fundamentally in design for a hundred years.

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Bird Flu and live quarry shooting

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Shooting organisations are in close touch with Defra and with each other over the handling of the confirmed case of Avian Influenza at a single, indoor duck farm near to Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The virus has been identified as an H5 variety, which is highly pathogenic in birds but it is not H5N1 and therefore poses very low risk to public health. Control measures already put in place by Defra are designed to ensure that human health and food safety are not compromised.

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Registered Firearms Dealers in NI not required to keep electronic records

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI) welcomes the decision by the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland (DOJNI) that it is not a requirement for Registered Firearms Dealers (RFDs) in Northern Ireland to hold records electronically. This decision brings Northern Ireland into compliance with the amendments to the European Firearms Directive, which come in to force on 31 December 2014, as part of the UK decentralised electronic record keeping of firearms. Contrary to previous advice from the DOJNI individual dealers can decide to keep their records electronically or in paper form.

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