With the start of the pheasant season just days away, BASC is pleased that the latest government announcement has not placed further restrictions on shooting in England.

We continue to await further details on the latest guidance from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Our community has demonstrated that shooting can take place in a COVID-secure manner and we should be optimistic for the months ahead.

BASC has conducted more than 300 COVID visits to shoots across the UK and given advice on the risk assessments and precautions to be taken to ensure that shooting can take place in a safe and responsible manner.

It is through our actions that the Government has accepted shooting as one of 30 ‘rule of six’ exempt sports.

It may not be shooting in exactly the way we all recognise, but shooting is clearly open for business and that will provide a significant boost for fragile rural communities that need our support more than ever.

However, it is important that nothing is done in the coming weeks and months that damages shooting’s reputation with the wider public. One misjudged photograph on social media, for example, could undo much of the hard work of the last few months.

In England it is a legal requirement for shoots to have a COVID risk assessment in place and be applying all reasonable measures to limit the transmission of coronavirus. However, it isn’t just the shooting organisers responsibility. For shooting’s long-term future, we all have personal responsibility to adhere to the strict guidance laid down by the governments of our four nations.

To that end, BASC has published a ‘COVID Code’ as an easy to follow framework for those involved in shooting in the months ahead.

It outlines the steps everyone should follow – Guns, gamekeepers, beaters, pickers-up – so that shooting can be conducted in a manner that ensures we all play our part in the UK’s fight against COVID.

Follow the COVID Code – Shoot safe

  • Hands – Regularly wash or sanitise your hands
  • Face – Wear a face mask in enclosed spaces
  • Space – Maintain social distancing
  • Time – Minimise time spent in gatherings
  • Equipment – Avoid sharing and sanitise before and after use
  • Place – Follow the ‘rule of six’ where it applies
  • Test & Trace – Provide your contact information

BASC’s detailed advice about shooting under the various COVID restrictions is available here.

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