A BAN on shooting pheasants on public land in Wales has come into effect following a landmark decision by the largest Welsh Government body.

Natural Resources Wales' decision to no longer permit game bird shooting in the Welsh national forest, came into effect on March 1 after shooting agreements expired.

The decision comes off the back of a three-year long campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports and Animal Aid, which won the support of a government minister and civil servants in September.

Two-thirds of rural people in Wales said they do not believe game bird shooting reflects countryside values in a poll carried out in December.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Natural Resources Wales is to be commended in the strongest terms for ensuring pheasant shooting in the Welsh national forest has now been brought to an end.

"This outcome reflects strong opposition from the Welsh Government, 74 per-cent of the public who oppose shooting birds for support and an urgent need to reverse damage to wildlife and the environment.”