Shooting’s first ever fully independent auditing process is up and running, and the first shoots have been audited. The initial shoots to participate in this historic moment have been keen to point out the simplicity of the process, and now have evidence that they are following best practice.
The assessors started auditing BGA member shoots at the beginning of October, and will continue to do so throughout the year. This is a monumental step forward for the shooting community, as all participating shoots are demonstrating a commitment to best practice standards and a willingness to publicly stand by them.
Shoot managers across the country will be waiting to hear from the early-adopters, the shoots that have embraced self-regulation, to learn how the auditing process is going to work on the ground. Now the first reviews are in.
The Englefield Estate was one of the first to be assessed. Estate Surveyor James Holbrook-Bull said: “The audit was comprehensive and thorough but straight forward and constructive. We were very pleased to have passed the audit with flying colours and we look forward to supporting the BGA to ensure the game industry achieves the highest rigorous and ethical standards and that, as a result, consumers can be confident of the provenance of their food.”
On completing their audit, D’Arcy Wyvill from Constable Burton Estate commented: “By following the documentation provided by the BGA and taking some time internally to prepare for the audit, this gave us an opportunity to show that we are engaged in best practice already. Even though the audit was in the run up to our busy season the process was simple and not onerous on our time. By learning where we could perhaps improve has provided us with the accreditation and confidence to go forward from here.”
John Queen, Head Keeper Linhope Estate remarked “The BGA audit is a comprehensive process and if you are doing the job right there is nothing to worry about. I hope the BGA audit makes everyone sit up and take notice of the challenges we are all facing, and Head keepers from all estates no matter how big or small must make their bosses sign up, this is our future we are talking about!”
This feedback from the pioneers will hopefully make other shoots want to sign up and join the self-regulation revolution. BGA Member Shoots can confidently state that they follow best practice, and that is something all shoots can aspire to.
Jonathan Whitehead, Technical Manager at Acoura says “The common theme we have found is that shoot owners have as a great passion for game management, and improvement of the environment. They set very high standards and have a tremendous focus on detail for both. We are very impressed with what we have seen so far and applaud the efforts shoots are making to meet the criteria.”
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