I am growing increasingly concerned at possible plans to remove the restrictions surrounding the shooting of 'game' birds on Sundays and Christmas Day. The Game Act 1891 makes shooting 'game' birds on these days an offence.
Around 35 million birds are intensively bred and reared each year to be used as live targets for slaughter by the shooting industry and feel there is no reason why the restrictions currently in place, imposed to protect the peace and tranquillity of the countryside on God’s day of rest, should now be lifted.
The countryside should be open to all to enjoy peacefully on a Sunday. Allowing 'game' on this day and Christmas day puts the interests of one small group above those of other countryside users. Some of those who wish to take part in church services or take a peaceful stroll in the countryside will find that Sunday shooting impacts negatively on their activities.
Allowing game shooting on Sundays and Christmas Day is a step backward for animal welfare and the peace of the countryside which is why I am adding my support to a campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports opposing any changes to the current law. Sunday is a day for re-creation and not for destruction. Is it really asking too much to keep Sunday a day of peace and safety for and ?
Rt Revd Richard Llewellin
Former Bishop of Lambeth and Chairman of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals.