The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973

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Bishops speak out against Sunday shooting

Two Bishops from the Anglican and Roman Catholic denominations have each lent their support to an initiative by the League Against Cruel Sports, in circulating the following letters:

Sir – I am growing increasingly concerned at possible plans to remove the restrictions surrounding the shooting of gamebirds on Sundays and Christmas Day. The Game Act 1891 makes shooting gamebirds on these days an offence.
Around 35 million birds are intensively bred and reared each year to be used as live targets for slaughter by the shooting industry and feel there is no reason why the restrictions currently in place, imposed to protect the peace and tranquillity of the countryside on God’s day of rest, should now be lifted.

The countryside should be open to all to enjoy peacefully on a Sunday. Allowing game shooting on this day and Christmas day puts the interests of one small group above those of other countryside users. Some of those who wish to take part in church services or take a peaceful stroll in the countryside will find that Sunday shooting impacts negatively on their activities.

Allowing game shooting on Sundays and Christmas Day is a step backward for animal welfare and the peace of the countryside which is why I am adding my support to a campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports opposing any changes to the current law. Sunday is a day for re-creation and not for destruction. Is it really asking too much to keep Sunday a day of peace and safety for gamebirds and hares?

Rt Revd Richard Llewellin, former Bishop of Lambeth and Chairman of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals.

Sir – I am growing increasingly concerned at possible plans to remove the restrictions surrounding the shooting of gamebirds on God’s day of rest and Christmas Day. The Game Act 1891 makes shooting gamebirds on these days an offence.

Around 35 million birds are intensively bred and reared each year to be used as live targets by the shooting industry and I can see no reason why the restrictions currently in place, imposed to protect the peace and tranquillity of the countryside on the Lords Day, should now be lifted.

God set aside Sunday as a day of rest, blessing and sanctifying it. It is a day for people to come to Church and worship God, a day when Christians celebrate life. I am appalled that anyone should want to put an end to the life of a creature on that day. Sunday is a day for peace, rest and reflection – it should not be a day marred by the sound of gunfire.

Allowing game shooting on Sundays and Christmas Day is a step backward, both for animal welfare and religion which is why I am giving my backing to a campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports to prevent any change in the current Sunday shooting laws.

Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham and President of Catholic Concern for Animals

www.league.uk.com 

See Letter:  Violence of bloodsports 
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