Code of practice for brown hare management and welfare in England
This code sets out the law and best practice for ensuring an appropriate and workable balance between the welfare and conservation of brown hares Lepus europaeus, their status as game, and their ability to cause serious damage to crops.
The code has been drawn up by representatives of farming, game and wildlife, and shooting interests. It sets out both statutory and voluntary measures to address a wide range of circumstances and needs.
Hares are an important and much-valued component of our natural heritage and biodiversity. In some parts of their range they are scarce, but in others they can be extremely abundant and need control. The law allows them to be killed both as game and to prevent serious damage to farm crops. Voluntary measures supplement the law to cover the differing and changing needs that arise.
This code specifies that any killing or control must be undertaken by competent people who are aware of their responsibilities as game shooters or as pest controllers. Any killing or control must always be carried out in strict accordance with the law.