BASC lifts call for restraint on shooting waterfowl across UK

A lake

Following a break in the freezing weather conditions, BASC has lifted its call for restraint in the shooting of waterfowl in the UK.

The decision has been made following three consecutive thaw days across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, allowing for the ground to unfreeze, and feeding and roosting opportunities to open back up for waterfowl.

People who shoot are being asked to continue with restraint and responsible behaviour wherever ducks, geese and wading birds are still having trouble feeding or roosting because of remaining snow or ice.

James Green, BASC’s head of wildfowling, said: “As a result of the improved weather conditions over the last few days, BASC’s call for voluntary restraint on the shooting of waterfowl on 14 December has been lifted.

“However, shooters should continue to be on the look-out for unusual movements or behaviour of waterfowl which may have been caused by the conditions. The decision to show restraint should be part of any shooter’s mindset and should continue where local observations demonstrate a requirement.”

BASC also encourages other countryside users, such as dog-walkers, ramblers, fishermen and bird-watchers to take care not to cause unnecessary disturbance to birds which may be continuing to struggle in areas slower to recover from the recent difficult conditions.

Restraint is usually called for after seven days of continuous freezing weather, which is defined by agreed procedures. Legal suspensions of shooting are brought in by the relevant governments, usually after 14 days of continuous severe weather.

Click here for more information on severe weather procedures and voluntary restraints.