BASC is maintaining its call for voluntary restraint to be exercised where local conditions merit it across England and Wales for the shooting of ducks, geese, wading birds, coot and moorhen because of the winter weather.
Legal suspensions of the shooting of certain bird species have been put in place for the first time in Northern Ireland and for the first time in 13 years in Scotland. The suspension in Scotland is expected to be lifted at midnight on Monday 18th January, allowing shooting on Tuesday 19th. The suspension in Northern Ireland is due to end at 8am on Wednesday 20th January.
BASC spokesman Simon Clarke said: “We know that many clubs, syndicates and shoots are cutting back on their shooting to help birds through the freeze. We are now asking for that restraint to be continued across England and Wales where local conditions merit it.
“The very cold weather, persistent frost and snow cover have made feeding and roosting very difficult and birds can lose condition quickly. Even though conditions seem to be improving in places and it now seems unlikely that any statutory suspension will be introduced in England and Wales, BASC is calling for restraint to be exercised, where local conditions require it, for the shooting of ducks, geese and waders, including reared mallard and woodcock. In addition, game shoots will be putting out tonnes of extra feed which could prove crucial for the survival of songbirds and other species. BASC urges all countryside users to minimise disturbance of waterfowl and their habitats. ”
More details, including full lists of bird species covered by statutory suspensions, can be found on the BASC website at www.basc.org.uk .