NORTHERN landowners have welcomed a categorical assurance from the Government’s House of Lords spokesman that there are no plans to ban shooting – which many country folk fear will be the next target of the Labour Left Wing after fox hunting.
Lord Whitty, a junior minister at Defra, assured the Lords on Tuesday that the Government had no plans to curtail shooting or place special restrictions on shooting estates, which are a vital part of the rural economy in North Yorkshire, Cumbria and North Lancs.
Yesterday, the Northern director of the Country Land and Business Association, Douglas Chalmers, issued a statement saying:
"I was pleased to see Lord Whitty's statement that the Government has no intention whatever of placing restrictions on the sport of shooting and that it should support shooting-based enterprises and estates because they bring income, jobs and prosperity to relatively remote parts of the country."
"I trust that this seemingly unambiguous stance will prove to be the basis of a long term Government policy on game-shooting and that the legal use of sporting firearms is not compromised by laws intended to stop criminal and nefarious use by a minority who will ignore any law anyway."
"Participants in game shooting and the associated businesses that depend upon it need to be able to plan for the future, and Lord Whitty's statement appears to allow them to do so."