Due to the widespread severe weather, the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) is calling for all shooters in Scotland and Northern Ireland to exercise restraint, wherever it is needed, in the shooting of ducks, geese and waders including reared mallard.
Under criteria agreed between BASC and the relevant government agencies, today (Dec 1st) has been classified as the seventh consecutive day of severe conditions in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. An alert has been issued for both countries according to procedures for managing the shooting of waterfowl in adverse weather. 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. Further guidance is available on the BASC website www.basc.org.uk .
If the freezing conditions persist then it is likely that decisions will be taken by the relevant governments to impose a statutory suspension of waterfowl shooting, at the earliest on 9 December, which would last for up to 14 days. This should be reviewed after seven days and could be lifted if conditions improve. There is currently no overall call for voluntary restraint in England and Wales, but it should still be applied where feeding and roosting are affected by snow and ice.
BASC director of research, Dr John Harradine, said: “While birds may well be in relatively good condition this early in the winter, individual shooters, clubs and syndicates should consider local conditions and be on the lookout for unusual bird movements or birds in poor condition and take their decisions on shooting accordingly.”
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.
For more information please call the BASC press office on 01244 573031.