Due to the widespread severe weather the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), is again calling for all shooters in England and Wales to exercise restraint, wherever it is needed, in the shooting of ducks including reared mallard, geese and waders.
Voluntary restraint in England and Wales should be applied where feeding or roosting is affected by snow or ice. Individuals should be on the look-out for unusual movements or behaviour of waterfowl which may be caused by the conditions. This is the second time this month a call for restraint has been issued by BASC.
Statutory suspensions of the shooting of waterfowl are in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A suspension is also in place in the Republic of Ireland.
BASC spokesman Simon Clarke said: “We are again calling for people in England and Wales to exercise restraint in the shooting of ducks, geese and waders including woodcock and snipe, coot and moorhen. BASC issues a call for voluntary restraint when it is clear that birds could be affected by the weather, but ahead of any statutory suspension of waterfowl shooting. We would also call on other countryside users, such as dog-walkers, ramblers, anglers 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.
The Government will consider introducing a statutory suspension if conditions do not improve. The earliest date such a suspension could be brought in is 30th December.
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.
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