Natural Resources Wales has launched its public consultation about whether it will continue to allow the shooting of game birds on its land. The survey also covers other types of shooting that currently take place.
Please take five minutes to fill in this survey – and remember you don’t have to live in Wales to do it.
Below is guidance on how to answer the four questions. We’d also like you to include a comment or two – suggested text is below, but if you can put it into your own words, that would be great!
If you live in Wales, please also make mention of that in your comments, too.
1) Do you agree that the use of firearms should continue to be an option available to NRW in managing the negative impacts of wild species on the land it manages to achieve the sustainable management of natural resources?
- NRW is encouraged to develop, employ and evaluate all non-lethal, humane methods of wildlife control and deterrence.
2) Do you agree that NRW should continue to consider applications for permission to carry out control of wild species using firearms on the land we manage?
Comment: please add one or two comments from the suggestions, below
- I encourage NRW to develop, employ and evaluate all non-lethal, humane methods of wildlife control and deterrence.
- Hunts being granted access to public land to carry out so-called ‘fox control’ is a misnomer. The Welsh farming industry itself reports that predation by all predators and poor weather combined is responsible for just 6% of lamb losses even in hill areas (Meat Promotion Wales ‘Making Every Lamb Count’ report) so fox control is far from necessary. Scientific studies show that killing foxes does not control their numbers. Hunts exist simply to hunt foxes for the pleasure of the hunters. If hunts were genuinely interested in controlling fox numbers they would not be deliberately breeding foxes on farmers’ land or hunting fox cubs, as exposed by the League Against Cruel Sports investigations.
- The recent conduct of some hunts in Wales and elsewhere in the UK and in terms of hounds being out of control on and near public highways, trespassing on private land, and of a hunt master and employee being convicted for badger baiting and causing illegal suffering to dogs, foxes and badgers, is cause for concern and should be reason enough to refuse hunts permission to use public land which should be able to be safely enjoyed by all and where wildlife should be protected.
3) Do you agree that NRW should continue to consider the leasing of land for pheasant shooting, wildfowling and other pursuits involving firearms where it does not negatively impact on sustainable management of natural resources?
Comment: please add two or three comments from the suggestions, below
- Shooting is a non-essential ‘sporting’ activity which causes enormous suffering to game birds who are shot, or wounded but not killed outright. Those who are not retrieved face a slow, agonising death. There is also a very high mortality rate before the start of the shooting season; many birds die from disease or under the wheels of cars, because they lack natural instincts to avoid danger as a consequence of being reared from birth in captivity before release.
- Shoots also kill large numbers of wild animals viewed as ‘predators’ to protect the high concentrations of released birds, whose presence inevitably attracts them. The result is a significant decrease in biodiversity, not to mention the suffering of all the animals who are killed.
- Activities, such as wildlife tourism, should be promoted as an alternative source of revenue that does not harm animals or the environment, and which would provide jobs.
- Thousands of non-native, factory-farmed pheasants are released onto NRW land each year. The release of very large numbers of non-native birds (i.e. pheasants) into the local environment at particular times directly harms the environment and biodiversity. Released game birds compete with indigenous woodland species for resources, affecting threatened wildlife such as songbirds and butterflies.
- Pheasant shoots use lead shot that damages the environment and is ingested by animals. Toxic lead shot additionally pollutes waterways and causes increased levels of sickness, death and reproductive failure in birds of prey. It is irresponsible to allow an activity to take place on public land that uses lead shot.
- Animal Aid has, on two occasions, found shoots to be in breach of welfare or best practice codes.
- NRW has considered the health and well-being of those who go shooting, but it should equally consider the health and well-being of those who do not want to hear the noise of guns, or be reminded of the senseless killing of animals for ‘sport’ or the damage to the environment.
4) Are you a member of or affiliated to an organisation with an interest in this review?
Answer: Yes if you are an Animal Aid member, or No if not.