First it was hunting tourism they didn’t like, now it’s legal gun ownership. After successfully banning the British Shooting Show Liverpool from taking place in 2020, the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, made it his mission to ban gun shows and game fairs across the UK.
Announced last week, the British Shooting Liverpool was to have taken place in September 2020. It follows the British Shooting Show at the NEC in Birmingham, which is still to take place in February 2020, and has become an essential part of the gun show-goer’s year. However, a petition of more than 100,000 people called for it to be stopped.
Later arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation, Anderson says: ‘This Council declares its complete opposition to any form of hunting live animals with hounds or shooting live game, in the UK or overseas. We note that this is barbaric in all cases, and in many cases also threatens species that are already precarious.’
Please see statement regarding the Great British Shooting Show.t.co/XVYE5WP2cp
— Exhibition Centre (@yourECL) October 8, 2019
BASC has hit back at the decision. BASC’s Garry Doolan told the Liverpool Echo: “Joe Anderson and some members of the council appear to have mixed up trophy hunting in Africa with shooting pheasants in places like Altcar.
“The mayor’s poorly-advised intervention appears to put him seriously at odds with his own party which only last week at its annual conference spoke of the importance and shooting to the economy and the environment.
“Labour’s shadow minister for the environment told a rural reception that countryside issues matter to Labour and the party wants to make sure the environment is top of the agenda.
“Joe Anderson perhaps should have done some due diligence before wading into this issue. As Mayor, we urgently request that Joe Anderson does his part to see that this damaging motion is retracted.”
Mr Doolan said the mayor and the council had shown a ‘complete disregard for the reality of the British countryside’ with the motion.
He added: “It’s a beautiful, precious environment but it isn’t like that by accident.
“The land and the wildlife in it has to be carefully, thoughtfully managed and the shooting community is rightly recognised for its positive work in helping to manage those landscapes.
“A sizeable number of that shooting community lives on Merseyside and in the surrounding regions and I am sure that any one of them would be happy to take the mayor and his colleagues out into the countryside for a fact-finding mission that would open their eyes to the reality.”
In a letter to supporters, the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting claimed the ban as a victory.