A legal suspension of the shooting of waterfowl is to be introduced in Northern Ireland because of the severe winter weather. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency will bring in a temporary suspension of the shooting of ducks, geese and waders from one minute past midnight on the morning of Thursday 9th December to help the birds to see out the cold. The suspension will last for fourteen days, but should be reviewed and could be lifted after seven days if the weather improves.
The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has already advised shooters in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to exercise voluntary restraint in relation to the shooting of ducks, geese and waders wherever local conditions require it
The measures are necessary to protect birds which will experience difficulties in feeding and roosting due to snow and ice affecting their habitats.
Tommy Mayne, Northern Ireland director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), said: “This is the second consecutive winter that a legal suspension of shooting has been required in Northern Ireland. Everyone who shoots respects their quarry and we are calling on all individuals, clubs and syndicates to exercise restraint in their shooting before the statutory suspension is brought in and to observe the suspension when it comes into force. We would also call on members not to shoot woodcock or snipe during the suspension. The birds are not technically covered by the order, but are still vulnerable to the extreme conditions. ” ENDS
For more information call the BASC press office on 01244 573031
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The suspension under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) order 1985 prohibits the shooting of any of the following quarry species, whether on the coast or inland:
Duck: Mallard, including reared mallard, teal, wigeon, pintail, tufted duck, pochard, shoveler, gadwall, goldeneye, scaup.
Geese: Greylag, pink-footed, Canada
Waders: Golden plover.