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A hunting group invited some MPs to shoot the breeze (and some birds) and people are mad

Tory MPs are being criticised for going to a fancy hunting event paid for by a pro-shooting group.

What it means: Four Tory MPs spent a weekend swanning around a posh manor house and shooting some pheasants and partridges, and it has caused some serious drama.

Animal rights activists say shooting birds is cruel and unethical, and there is no good reason for people to kill 36 million pheasants in Britain each year. Pro-shooting groups say their sport adds £2 billion into the UK economy each year, supports 74,000 full-time jobs and brings happiness to hundreds of thousands of people who find shooting birds fun. What were we saying about ‘growth is good’ being debatable?

Other people say that the real issue is not whether people approve or disapprove of MPs’ hobbies, but that the event was an excuse for a group of people to try and influence lawmakers to advance their own interests. The shooting event the MPs attended was paid for by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation and came just four days after the Welsh government (in which some of the invited MPs sit) announced they were thinking of banning pheasant shooting in Wales.

76 percent of Welsh people support the ban, but most can’t afford to spend £953 to take an MP out for a weekend. So when lobby groups spend lots of time acting chummy with lawmakers, people worry that government policy (and the economy) will be skewed towards the interests of the rich and powerful.


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