Opinion Former Article

BASC and RSPCA team up for airgun conference

BASC has announced it is hosting a joint conference with the RSPCA to examine issues around the misuse of airguns.

The organisations will meet in London on April 17, 2018, for a day-long seminar entitled ‘Airguns – Problems and Solutions’.

Experts from both organisations will deliver key-note speeches on current legislation, solutions to airgun misuse and crime and experiences from the introduction last year of new airgun legislation in Scotland.

Christopher Graffius, BASC's director of communications, said: "Both BASC and the RSPCA are concerned about the criminal use and misuse of airguns and believe it is important to come together to scope out the scale of the problem and identify practical solutions to improve animal welfare without damaging legitimate shooting.

“As such, this conference aims to do just that by bringing together key stakeholders so that effective ways forward can be identified. It is very encouraging that organisations like ours can sit around the table to draw up recommendations that could positively influence animal welfare for many years to come.

“While the government is working on the responses it received as part of its airgun consultation, we believe it is a pertinent time to engage with key stakeholders and attempt to develop practical and effective solutions to the problems identified.”

RSPCA Head of Public Affairs David Bowles said: “We believe holding a joint conference is a bold and necessary move to look at the problems of airgun misuse. While both organisations may have different viewpoints and proposed solutions, it is important that we bring stakeholders together to discuss issues and find practical ways to address a problem that impacts on animal welfare. 

“Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks. During last year alone, the RSPCA received 884 calls reporting airgun attacks on animals across England and Wales.

“We have provided a response to the Home Office’s welcome review around the regulation of air weapons and are confident this event will also make a valuable contribution to that initiative.”

ENDS

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