The Welsh Government’s decision to ban game shooting on public land lacks any scientific basis – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said.
In the Senedd – Mr Davies asked Minister for the Environment Hannah Blythyn to confirm her reasons for the decision – after a report – undertaken by Natural Resources Wales at a cost of £45,000 to the taxpayer – said there was no need to change existing laws.
Ignoring the advice – the Welsh Government decided to intervene anyway – and shooting rights on public land will come to an end in March 2019.
The Minister claimed this was because she needed to take into account “wider considerations of public views in considering what happens on [Welsh Government] estate”.
Mr Davies said this amounted to a contradiction – given the Welsh Government’s repeated failure to intervene on other issues including the Barry incinerator and nuclear mud dumping off the coast of Penarth.
Mr Davies said, “The Minister’s failure to provide an answer shows the Welsh Government only listen to science when it suits them.
“Official advice has been provided –costing the taxpayer £45,000 – telling her the current policy should remain – yet she has chosen to ignore it.
“Ultimately – a Minister is entitled to take a political decision – and while I may disagree with that decision I do not question her right to do so.
“But when that same Minister has previously refused to direct NRW to prevent the Barry incinerator or nuclear mud dumping in Penarth – questions will rightly be asked.
“People in Barry and Penarth will want to know why she is prepared to hide behind the cloak of NRW officials in their case – but not in others. This is a contradiction the Welsh Government have so far failed to clear up.”