Opinion Former Article

BASC: Scottish Minister to receive top award from shooters

Former Scottish Minister for Environment, Mike Russell MSP, has been awarded a top accolade from the UK's largest shooting organisation.

Mr Russell, who is now Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, will accept the Tim Sedgwick Trophy from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) via a pre-recorded video link at the organisation's AGM on 13 June.

The Minister said: "It is a great honour for my contribution to game and wildlife conservation to be recognised by BASC in this way. As Environment Minister, it was very important to me to involve all stakeholders across the countryside in making sure we stood up for the things we believed in. Working with all sorts of organisations, including BASC, we were able to unite against the cowboys and criminals and to ensure that we maintained the highest standards of game and wildlife management. With such consensus, we could work together for the good of the countryside and for the good of the people who work in, make a living from and enjoy the countryside."

BASC's director for Scotland, Dr Colin Shedden, said: "Mr Russell is probably best known to the shooting world as the Minister who did not bow to a well-funded and strongly pressured campaign seeking to ban snares in Scotland. Instead he chose to challenge those who know about the countryside to improve their practice and standards."

"However, it is not just his pragmatism and courage over the snaring issue that makes him a worthy recipient of the Tim Sedgwick Trophy. He developed a clear understanding of the conservation benefits that come not just from pest control but from all aspects of game and wildlife management as undertaken by shoots the length and breadth of the country. In addition, he revitalised the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime in Scotland and made sure that land managers, the police and conservationists worked together for the good of Scotland's countryside."

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