Maggot Times - December 2002


Headline:  Fishing wins support from Minister
Date: 20 December 2002


Labour’s Parliamentary spokesman for angling and shooting Martin Salter MP secured a public commitment from the Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael that these sports will not be affected in any way by the Government’s new Hunting Bill which outlaws stag hunting and hare coursing and makes provision for licensing of fox hunting in certain areas where no alternative method can be used effectively.

Mr Salter was responding to claims by the Countryside Alliance that angling and shooting were somehow under threat.

In his statement to the House of Commons on 3rd December Mr Michael said:

“A number of commentators have tried to suggest that there is an intention of going beyond the issue of hunting with dogs to other country sports. I want to make it clear that there is no such intention. It is spelt out in our manifesto commitment: “we have no intention whatsoever of placing restrictions on the sports of angling and shooting.”

“I am also convinced by the evidence that there is no need to control falconry within the provisions of my Bill. In falconry, dogs are used to flush out quarry so for the avoidance of doubt the Bill will specify such activities as exempted activities.”

Speaking in the Commons last week Martin Salter said:

“Will my right hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to Britain’s two million-plus coarse anglers who have steadfastly refused to be conned or hoodwinked by the hunt lobby and their supporters on the Opposition Benches into supporting the doomed cause of hunting with hounds? Will he confirm that not only are field sports such as angling and shooting safe with the Government but they are being enhanced and supported as never before?”

In reply Mr Michael said: - “I am happy, as always, to support my hon. Friend in his passionate support for angling and the country sport of shooting.”

Mr Salter added:

“I’m pleased Alun Michael scotched the lies put around by some pro-hunters that angling and shooting could be next on the list. As an avid angler myself I never had any doubt that my favourite sport enjoys the full backing of ministers, but it was important to counter the disgraceful scaremongering of people like the Countryside Alliance.”

Martin Salter continued:

“By their attendance and support for the two national angling summits that I have organised government ministers are giving angling’s national bodies unparalleled access and a level of support that surpasses any previous government of whatever political complexion.

“Anglers have proved that they do not need fox hunters and their supporters to speak on their behalf and I will continue to resist any attempts by the Countryside Alliance to hijack the strong and enduring relationship that angling now enjoys with government.”

He added:

“The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has made it clear that they are pleased with the commitment that the Labour Party has shown to shooting.”

Headline:  Disabled Angling given support
Date: 15 December 2002


Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn MP has given the green light for the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) to become the organisation that will provide access to angling for nine million disabled people.

The Minister has confirmed that all sporting activity for the disabled is to come under the umbrella of the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), who have indicated the first point of contact into the sport will be the BDAA - their present partners in angling.

“All disability sport will be channelled through the EFDS and that includes angling,” said the Minister at a recent meeting in Stoke on Trent where he spent the morning listening to a number of presentations on the Stoke Angling for Everyone (SAFE), City Waters Advisory Management Group (CWAMG), Get Hooked on Fishing and BDAA.”

“There are nine million disabled people out there who should be encouraged to take part in sport including angling and the Government believe the best people to take the word to those people is the EFDS, who will select and work with selected partners in each sport as consultants,” added the Minister.

And confirming the BDAA is their chosen partner to take sport to the disabled, the EFDS Sports Development Manager Mahesh Patel said, “I am delighted with the decision of the Minister and Sport England to place the development of sport with EFDS, and as far as angling is concerned we would primarily work through the our partnership with the BDAA.”

Confirming the EFDS policy, Chief Executive Colin Chaytor said, “The EFDS now recognise the BDAA as an official partner in the provision of increased and improved sporting opportunities for disabled people, and the BDAA will be solely responsible for the development and delivery of these programmes in the future”.

Speaking on behalf of the BDAA, a delighted Director Peter Thompson commented, “the news comes at a time when the Environment Agency A has agreed with the BDAA the opportunity to send an information leaflet to every one of the 61,000 people who last year received a concessionary licence.”
“In addition over the next five years the BDAA will commence an inclusive angling programme which will widen opportunities for disabled people to access the sport of angling. It will increase the numbers of disabled people that go fishing as well as enabling those participating at grass roots level to go all the way to international representation through ‘elite performance pathways,” added Peter Thompson.



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