BASC is advising game farmers and people involved in game rearing to check their security arrangements following calls from animal rights extremists to target their activities.
A post claiming to show a map of game farms has been published on Facebook with content that appears to incite unlawful damage and other criminal behaviour.
BASC has contacted Facebook asking for the content to be removed and the group to be blocked.
Recently, a number of incidents have occurred where pheasants have been unlawfully released and video footage of the activity has been published on social media.
Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and gundogs, said: “We would urge people to check their security arrangements and update where necessary.
“If BASC members need any advice, they can contact BASC or contact their local police crime prevention officer.
“BASC has a record of the social media posts that are inciting criminal behaviour and we have asked Facebook to take the necessary action. We understand the police are also investigating a number of recent incidents.
“The police investigation process understandably takes time and we will not get immediate answers from Facebook. So the key thing at the moment is for people like game farmers who may be affected to be extra vigilant.
“Be aware of the access points to your premises and make sure they are secure. Consider installing surveillance equipment and security lighting. People can even consider trail cameras. “Of course, if people have immediate concerns, they should contact the police and report any suspicious activities, however minor they may seem, to the police. It is useful to record the number plates of any vehicles loitering in and around game farms.”
BASC chairman Peter Glenser QC said: “This extremist campaign is targeted towards people trying to make a lawful and legitimate living.
“BASC is taking steps to raise a number of issues with the police to help secure the protection and reassurance necessary for those rural businesses that are being targeted, bullied and harassed by those who have no understanding of the countryside.”
- Consider installing surveillance cameras and security lighting.
- Ensure access points such as gates are in good order and are secured.
- Ensure fences are secure.
- Secure sheds and outbuildings.
- Maintain links with local police / rural police teams.
- Lookout for neighbours and share any suspicious sightings with them. Consider joining rural / farm watch schemes.
- Report all crimes, incidents or suspicious activity to the police.