The Petitions Committee at the Senedd are discussing a petition that calls for a ban of the shooting of woodcock, snipe, black grouse, pochard and other species in Wales. The petition received only 122 signatures and, as ever with Senedd petitions, attracted signatures from outside of the UK to include the Falkland Islands, United States and Switzerland.
Rachel Evans, Director of Countryside Alliance Wales, said: "The petitions committee were not calling for evidence from the shooting community until we intervened, and I am very pleased indeed to see that they have now made that call, and my colleagues in the partner organisations of Aim to Sustain and the wider experts in these species, have contributed to the debate. It just goes to show how poorly informed the petitioners are – black grouse are a rarity in Wales and there is no appetite to shoot the small numbers that we have."
In a letter to the Petitions Committee, Minister Julie James calls for evidence that would support the petition stating that “any regulatory changes to the listing of amber and red listed species, such as shooting quarry, would need to be underpinned by robust evidence to support that change and need to be considered alongside other factors that are contributing to the decline of these endangered species, such as loss of habitat and the effects of climate change.”
The Minister goes on to clearly show her support by saying “I very much share the concerns raised and welcome the opportunity to work with the committee to consider any emerging evidence that may be presented to the committee in support of the petition. Such evidence would help inform further discussion around any proposed changes to the regulatory process and whether such changes would lead to better outcomes for these important species.”
The committee are due to review the evidence in the coming weeks and you can view the trail of discussions here, which will be updated once the evidence is received by the clerk.