After listening to the full debate I was left very depressed and it did nothing to dissuade me that this is not the beginning of the end for shooting. All of the fine arguments of biodiversity, employment and rural economic sustainability will not sway or influence the majority of ban supporters or stop that support growing whilst illegal raptor persecution continues. I think we are years away from a ban but unless the shooting industry radically changes I believe a ban is inevitable.
The shooting industry has the power to stamp out illegal killing. If they don’t I think the support for a ban will just keep relentlessly growing especially as technical advances and increase in public awareness will lead to more reporting and discovery of persecution. Eventually like fox hunting the numbers will grow sufficiently to start possibly influencing a few marginals and when that happens it is curtains for shooting. I believe if the shooting industry wishes to survive it must stop killing raptors and mountain hares.
One of the arguments expressed is that the antis do not understand the countryside and this is probably true, but they do understand the concept of illegal persecution and many will just see this as another example of the law turning a blind eye to criminal behaviour by the rich or on behalf of the rich.
It was also touching to see all these Tory MPs suddenly become so concerned with the employment needs of the rural working class! In many rural areas there is no shortage of jobs especially low paid jobs, but a shortage of people to do those jobs because of a lack of affordable housing and public transport plus a higher cost of living, it would be nice if those MP also turned their attention to these problems.