A Tory MP who fantasised on Twitter about shooting a deer in his garden has apologised – for naming the wrong weapon to use.
Glyn Davies tweeted: ‘Beautiful antlered stag in the garden, browsing on the shrubs border, “Ooh,” said all the family. I just wished I had my 12-bore handy.’
The Montgomeryshire MP immediately drew the ire of the animal rights lobby, who admonished him for promoting blood sports.
But an unrepentant Mr Davies later said on his blog: ‘It seems that some animal rights groups had considered this an offensive comment for an MP to make.
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‘I accept that reference to a 12-bore was wrong. It should have been a .22 or some other rifle.’
Animal rights campaigners accused the Conservatives of plotting to bring back hunting with hounds.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: ‘It is sad when people can’t see the beauty in a wild animal like this and just want to kill it.’
Joe Duckworth, spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: ‘We worry about the Government’s underlying beliefs about the importance of our wildlife. It should be respected.’ Labour MP Kerry McCarthy said the comments typified ‘yet another Tory’ showing ‘his blood-lust for killing animals’.
But Mr Davies, a farmer who lives near Welshpool and happens to be parliament’s reigning archery champion, challenged the animal welfare activists to ‘come and talk to me about the damage deer do’.
He went on: ‘Every year, a few of them [deer] sneak into our garden, usually during very early hours, and home in on our most valued shrubs. Adding insult, they normally just spit out the severed bits uneaten.’