It has not gone unnoticed that the League Against Cruel Sports appears to have overlooked a GWCT poll which found that the majority of the Welsh population would like pheasant shooting to continue. What was particularly striking was that 85% of responders said the benefits of shooting are poorly understood. With the value of the social impact of shooting only just beginning to be understood, this last point is particularly important.
Community Spirit, a recent report published by the GWCT, considered the testimonials of 581 people in Wales and found that shooting is not the preserve of a wealthy minority, but is an activity enjoyed by ordinary people. It brings generations and communities together. With recent discussions about suicides and depression increasing within the rural community we must not ignore our obligations under the Welsh Well-being of Future Generations Act. Perhaps it is time to recognise the value shooting brings to both our wildlife and the rural communities that look after the countryside.
Sue Evans, Director GWCT Wales/Cymru