Bishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham, who is president of Catholic Concern For Animals, has declared his support for a campaign led by the League Against Cruel Sports to prevent any change in the current Sunday shooting laws. Since the Game Act of 1891 it has been illegal to shoot game birds on Sundays and Christmas Day, but new proposals suggest scrapping the law.
"I can see no reason why the restrictions currently in place, imposed to protect the peace and tranquility of the countryside on the Lord's Day, should be lifted, Bishop Malcolm wrote in a letter to the Tablet on the eve of St Francis' feast day.
"God set aside Sunday as a day of rest, blessing and sanctity. It is a day for people to come to Church and worship God, a day when Christians celebrate life. I am appalled that anyone should want to put an end to the life of an animal. Sundays should not be marred by the sound of gunfire. Allowing game shooting on Sundays and Christmas Day is a step backwards for animal welfare and religion."
The feast of St Francis today is being marked by prayer services in churches of all denominations today. Today is also World Animal Day.
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