MP Glyn Davies defends tweet on shooting stag
Mid Wales MP Glyn Davies today defended a tongue-in-cheek tweet in which he said he wanted to shoot a stag with a 12-bore shotgun.
Mr Davies has been criticised by animal welfare groups since making the comment on Twitter – despite saying he had written it in 'good humour'.
The Tory MP's tweet said he wanted to shoot the deer which had made its way into his garden in Berriew, near Welshpool.
He tweeted to his 1,560 followers:
Beautiful antlered stag in the garden, grazing on shrubs border. Oohs of admiration from family. I just wished I still had my 12 bore handy. Glyn Davies (@GlynDaviesMP) November 17, 2012
Animal welfare groups, The RSPCA and The League Against Cruel Sports, criticised Mr Davies for his comments, but the MP said they had suffered 'a sense of humour bypass'.
Joe Duckworth, a spokesman from the League Against Cruel Sports said: "We worry about the Government's underlying beliefs about the importance of our wildlife. It should be respected."
And a spokeswoman for the RSPCA, added: "It is sad when people can't see the beauty in a wild animal like this and just want to kill it."
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But Mr Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, said he hadn't shot anything for more than 40 years and said the tweet was written in a humorous tone.
He said: "My biggest regret about my comments was that I wouldn't use a 12-bore if I was doing it, I would get a professional to use a proper rifle.
"I think these groups must have suffered a sense of humour bypass. I wrote that tweet in good humour, but it is about a serious problem for the Welshpool area.
"So many deer have escaped from the Powis Castle grounds and that area over the years, that they are taking over woodland in the area. I have grown some woodland on my land and we get deer visiting and damaging it.
"They are beautiful animals to look at, but they create serious problems and can destroy woodland."
Mr Davies said since his tweet he had received a number of calls from groups and members of the public criticising him.
"I have had a backlash about the tweet, but I have a thick skin and haven't been bruised by what people are saying about me at all," he said.
"The thing is it makes you wonder why you do things like Twitter, because people jump on you whenever you say anything. I try and keep it humorous and also use it to comment on serious issues.
"I now think boring is probably best."
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