February has been a landmark month for the British Game Alliance and for everyone who supports the vision of a self-regulating game shooting sector. Unprecedented strides have been taken both to broaden access to Shoot Assurance and to drive wider adoption.
We are so grateful to the 30 sporting agents who have committed to the goal of selling shooting solely on BGA Member Shoots from the start of the 2023 season. This is a huge moment for our community. This is recognition from some of the most savvy, forward looking people in shooting that universal coverage by Shoot Assurance is the future.
We will all remember Simon Hart’s fateful words three years ago, reporting on what he was told in Number 10 Downing Street: Embrace self regulation enthusiastically, or someone else will regulate you. And we can all see those who would like a go at regulating us are starting to fancy their chances. This sporting agents’ announcement is evidence that our community is showing the necessary enthusiasm for regulating ourselves.
To their immense credit, the agents who signed that announcement only did so once they were certain that every shoot of every size could join the BGA and benefit from Shoot Assurance. So we were delighted to launch our Associate Membership, a membership tier designed purely for those shoots releasing fewer than 1500 birds per season and not selling their dead game commercially.
Associate Membership costs less and carries fewer requirements in terms of record keeping, but still allows smaller shoots to join the Shoot Assurance revolution taking place in our sector. This is so important, not only because it means the agents who want to sell BGA-Assured shooting can continue to work with shoots of all sizes, but also because small shoots are the backbone of our community. If we are going to envelope our sector in a self-regulatory shield, we need to bring everyone on board.