Due to the widespread severe weather the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) is calling for all shooters in England and Wales to exercise restraint, wherever it is needed, in the shooting of ducks, geese and waders including reared mallard.
Voluntary restraint in England and Wales should be applied where feeding or roosting is affected by snow and ice. Individuals should be on the look-out for unusual movements or behaviour of waterfowl which may be caused by the conditions. Calls for similar restraint have been in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland since last week.
BASC spokesman Simon Clarke said: “BASC issues a call for voluntary restraint in shooting ducks, geese and waders when it is clear that birds could be affected by the weather, but ahead of any statutory suspension of shooting. We would also call on other countryside users, such as dog-walkers, ramblers and bird-watchers to take care not to cause unnecessary disturbance to birds which may be struggling in the severe conditions.”
The decision to show restraint in shooting should be made by individuals and be based on local observations of the condition of the birds and their habitats. Daily updates are available on the BASC website www.basc.org.uk .
If freezing conditions persist, statutory suspension of waterfowl shooting could take effect from the 9th December in Northern Ireland, the 10th December in Scotland and the 14th December in England and Wales. Statutory suspensions normally last for 14 days but would be reviewed after seven days and could be lifted if conditions have improved. All dates are subject to change according to prevailing weather conditions.
BASC’s website contains detailed information on severe weather procedures, voluntary restraint and a daily update on the situation in all parts of the UK. ENDS
For press enquiries please call the BASC press office on 01244 573031. An ISDN line is available for radio interviews.