Natural Resources Wales – the quango described as the “tame poodle” of the Welsh Labour Government – is being criticised by Conservative Environment spokesman Andrew R T Davies (AM for South Wales Central).
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) announced this week that it is to ban the long-established country pursuit of pheasant-shooting on the extensive acreages of land owned by the Welsh Government in Wales .
The NRW is the same Labour-dominated body which has permitted the dumping of potentially radioactive mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex in the sea off Penarth – and has failed to intervene in the start-up of the controversial and unpopular Barry Incinerator project.
Natural Resources Wales will not renew leases on its land for pheasant-shooting rights when they come to an end in March next year. The NRW says its amended policy will “make sure that firearms are used for the right reasons, in the right circumstances and in the best way possible.” …whatever that means.
A major factor in coming to the decision – says Natural Resources Wales is – “the Welsh Government’s position, as the landowner, that it does not support pheasant shooting, the breeding of gamebirds or the birds being kept in holding pens on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate. ”
Applications to use Welsh Government land for “other pursuits such as clay pigeon/ target shooting” will be considered on a “case by case” basis.
South Wales Central AM and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Andrew RT Davies has said the decision represents a “remarkable inconsistency” – given their failure to intervene on issues of the Barry incinerator and the “nuclear mud” dumping off Penarth .
Mr Davies says “Irrespective of your views on country sports – it is quite remarkable that ministers – against both science and the evidence on the table – have chosen to intervene in this way. We must not forget this is the same minister who has repeatedly failed to take action to stop the Barry incinerator or nuclear mud dumping in Penarth – and residents will rightly ask why.”
Mr Davies added “In making this decision – it has been proved these powers are there to be exercised – so it leads to questions as to why both NRW and the Welsh Government are prepared to get involved here – but are not interested in standing up for the Vale.”