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Shooting Sports

Volume 584: debated on Thursday 17 July 2014

The Government recognise the important contribution that shooting sports make to rural life, the economy and the environment. Although there are no Government assessments or official statistics, I am aware of a recent industry-funded study, which estimated that shooting is worth £2 billion to the UK economy and supports around 74,000 full-time jobs. It also assessed that the industry spends nearly £250 million a year on conservation.

I congratulate the Secretary of State on her new appointment. I appreciate that she and the Minister are busy at the moment, but may I draw their attention to the report by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, which outlines the enormous economic benefits to rural areas that shooting brings? Will the Government continue to support this excellent form of recreation?

As I said, we recognise the value of shooting sports. Indeed, I referred precisely to the report that the hon. Gentleman mentioned. Shooting sports have an important role to play in rural communities and contribute to our economy.

I thank the Minister for that response. Almost 1 million people participate in shooting sports in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The recreation is worth £2.5 billion through spending on goods and services. What discussions has the Minister had with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Countryside Alliance about how to complement the good work that they do in the countryside?

Tomorrow, I will be attending the CLA game fair and, among others, I will meet the British Association of Shooting and Conservation and the Angling Trust. I look forward to discussing some of the issues on their agenda.