Ewing says country sports are vital to economy

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During a visit to the annual Moy Game Fair, Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing was keen to meet stakeholders from the game sector and country sports industry to hear how their businesses are contributing to local economies and working with others to support environmental management.

The game sector and country sports support around 4,400 full-time equivalent jobs in rural Scotland, making a significant contribution to the rural economy.

However, as industries responsible for large areas of land, they also have a significant role to play in working with others to support sustainable environmental management.

Mr Ewing said: ‘The rural economy is dependent on sustainable land management by responsible land owners and managers, in a way that ensures that the quality and variety of stock remains high, costs remain low, and the right balance is struck between conservation and rural access.

‘Analysis shows that the direct gross value added attributable to country sports is estimated to total £50 million, while the game industry is a major part of our vibrant food and drink sector.

‘Ultimately, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that our natural assets are protected and enhanced.

“Most people and businesses involved in Scotland’s country sports industry are playing their part in this, which is something that we should be rightly proud of, and the contribution made to Scotland’s rural economy more widely celebrated.

‘As Rural Economy Secretary, I’m always keen to take the opportunity to meet representatives from that sector, to hear first-hand how industry is faring, and how all parts of rural Scotland can contribute to making a vibrant rural economy.’