Who told the shooters they were safe?

For all those that foolishly thought that the Government wouldn't go for shooting after Hunting :roll:. From todays Telegraph:

Only shoot woodpigeon if you can't scare it off
By Charles Clover
(Filed: 01/03/2005)

The shooting of woodpigeons and crows may only take place in future only if scaring them has been shown not to work, the Government said yesterday.

Rail Europe

Under new rules which came into force yesterday, woodpigeons, magpies and other pest bird species may be shot only if other, non-lethal forms of pest control, including gas guns and scarecrows, have first been demonstrated not to protect crops or game birds.

Landowners and field sports bodies were astonished at changes which they said came without any consultation, announcement or even being posted on the website of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on the day they came into force.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said the changes effectively outlawed the shooting of woodpigeons, a pursuit traditionally followed by hundreds of thousands of camouflage-clad shooters at this time of year.

What came into force yesterday and unannounced was a change to the wording of general licences issued to kill pest species including woodpigeons, rooks, crows, magpies, jays, collared doves, Canada geese, greater and lesser black-backed gulls.

Countryside organisations were informed by Defra that the wording of the latest general licences, which apply to all shooters, was being changed to read: “This licence can only be relied upon in circumstances where the authorised person can demonstrate that appropriate non-lethal methods of control such as scaring are either ineffective or impracticable.”
And the comment:

Shooting, the next target
(Filed: 02/03/2005)

How far this Government stretches its tentacles into everyday life. As of yesterday, anyone rough-shooting in a remote part of the country will have to satisfy the terms of a general shooting licence, number WLF 18. Whenever they take a pot-shot at a pigeon, they’ll first have to think: “Have appropriate non-lethal methods of control such as scaring been either ineffective or impracticable in dealing with this bird?”

The licence is a pointless one: it applies only to pests which are, by their very nature, harmful to crops and in no danger of extinction. But it is too much to expect logic in a paradoxical touchy-feely world, where the RSPB can condemn the shooting of magpies, even though magpies are plentiful and the songbirds whose eggs and young they eat are not.

After the hunt ban, saboteurs talked of spreading their net to shooting, which has the same wrongly conceived class connotations. The Government has shown few signs yet of backing a shooting ban; this licence is a straw in the wind.
And so it continues.

They won't need to ban shooting outright, they'll just strangle it with regulations. :evil:

Well done BASC :twisted:
What the feck is going on with this country? How are farmers supposed to protect their livelihoods? I thought, since the hunting ban, that we are allowed to still shoot foxs because they are pests. Why is the law different for flying rats? Someone, somewhere needs to take some reality pills.
FFS, you'll next be sued by the farmer next door for scaring the pigeons onto his land!


Kit Reviewer
Most people, when something they've said has been proven to be correct, tend to start their next statement with "I don't like to say I told you so, but......"

I'm the opposite, I love to say "I told you so." But not, alas, in these cases......

Honestly, isn't it time we took the country back from these lunatics and let good sense govern our lives ?
1. Identify all the politicians and animal lib w*nkers that pushed this through.
2. Locate the parking spots for their cars in London.
3. Cover their cars with bird seed every night.
4. See if they are still against shooting pigeons when their Jags are covered in bird shit the next morning!
At the moment, shooters are taking about one "hit" every week. In just the past few weeks:

a) ebay starts pulling (fully legal) shooting-related items posted by UK vendors;

b) Landmarc cancels all range bookings by civilian clubs in SE & states that this is likely to continue for foreseeable future (those with tinfoil hats will understand that clubs which cannot shoot will lose their Home Office approval at next renewal & shooters who cannot shoot will lose their "good reason" to own firearms...);

c) Post Office & couriers considering a complete ban on any parcel containing firearm or parts thereof - so, major impact on retail Gunsmiths among others;

d) Latest Home Office "Consultation Paper" (hahahahahaha - diktat, more like) considers new swathe of restrictions on reloading components, among other things;

e) the abovementioned unannounced sweeping (effective) bans on pigeon shooting;

f) new EU restrictions on packaging & carriage of propellants causes massive increase in reloading costs and dramatic reduction in availability of powder;

g) er,

h) there were two other things, but I'm too depressed to remember what they are....
They may have f#cked shooters with the semi-auto rifle ban and the pistol ban (which probably wouldn't have happened unless there was a general election looming). However, at least they were up front about it, unlike this pack of scabby dogs.
My point is I wouldn't trust ANY of them as far as I could throw 'em.
5_mile_sniper said:
My point is I wouldn't trust ANY of them as far as I could throw 'em.
Agreed, but I hear the Tories have said that the handgun ban was a waste of time. Can't see either Neu Arbeit or the Lib dems saying something like that in public.

Wouldn't want to throw Charles Clark anywhere, fat cnut!
Here is the BASC take on it:

New licences no threat to shooting

Home > News > Press Releases > New licences no threat to shooting

3rd March 2005………………………………………immediate release.

New wording in the general licences, which allow pest birds such as crows and pigeons to be controlled, will not restrict pigeon shooting or other pest control on shoots or farms.

BASC has issued advice to its 122,000 members that they will be able to continue to control pests - and in the case of woodpigeons enjoy sporting shooting - as they have done under general licences since their introduction in 1990.

The EU Birds Directive protects all birds with two exceptions: “game” shooting, subject to certain conditions such as closed seasons, and pest control under licence where there is no other satisfactory solution. This latter condition has always been implicit in all such licences. The new wording merely makes it explicit in order to show beyond doubt that the general licence complies with European law.

BASC Chief Executive, John Swift, said;
“Those who shoot or use traps to control pests do not themselves have to have tried other methods first. In the unlikely event of an authorised person being challenged by the police he would simply have to state that what he was doing was a contribution to crop protection and cite the extensive literature that demonstrates non-lethal methods to be ineffective and impracticable. He might also add that the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs states in the opening paragraph of the licence “that there is no other satisfactory solution”.

I think they are being over confident - definately frog in the saucepan approach and as it caught the BASC on the hop they would naturally play it down. Watch this space, by 2010 we will need licences to play on a Playstation if the game has guns in it.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people"
BASC just doesn't learn does it?

Over Christmas I had the misfortune to meet a big-time shooter who is involved with several game shoots, commercial, syndicate and private as well as rough shooting. He's also a big noise with BASC, he was positively crowing about the Hunting ban and about how BASC had been very clever to avoid making too much fuss and how this had "saved shooting". This was witnessed, he said, by the clause in the Act that allowed terrier work to continue when protecting gamebirds (but not lambs/piglets/chickens/etc.). There would be no ban on shooting, he said, the Govt. had given assurances.
I thought, "You really don't get it, do you? They'll get you by the back door and call it `public safety', `gun control' and `animal welfare' ".
Hope his smug grin is starting to look a bit forced. :twisted:

As BASC conveniently fails to point out, it is not the Police that will cause trouble based on this but the RSPB and RSPCA with their "inspectors" and all their fellow-travellers.
The RSPB has already made a fuss about the shooting magazine that offered a £500 prize for the most magpies terminated, claiming magpies do no damage. Ironicaly the RSPB was whining last year about the decline in songbirds (whose numbers have declined while magpies have increased) yet when someone tries to arrest this decline by reducing one of the major predators they complain. Indeed, the RSPB line is now that avian predators have no effect on smaller birds :roll: .

As long as they keep off the game shoots certain people and certain orgamanisations will remain remarkably quiet.
But you need to shoot corvids to protect gamebirds... and I bet BASC has more members that pot the odd pigeon on a sunday morning thn members prepared to pay £25/bird for driven pheasant.

Anglers next, isn't it?
What about horse-riding. Shouldn't that be banned as it's degrading to the horse making them carry around us humans all the time. Poor unpaid beasts of burden!
4(T) said:
d) Latest Home Office "Consultation Paper" (hahahahahaha - diktat, more like) considers new swathe of restrictions on reloading components, among other things;
This piece of vindictive legislation was due to arrive on our doorsteps last month (February) according to my licencing authority in Wiltshire but as yet has failed to materialise.
Are they now producing so much legislation that they can not keep up with it?
One more reason to fcuk off & become a septic.

What possible use is this legislation?
Are we all to now go out & kiss a bloody magpie?
Come nesting season I will make a point of shooting MORE of the vicious, nest-robbing bastids than last year.

Pigeons are flying rats, so I'll do for more of them as well.
yellow card 3 clear warnings if the flying rats don't leave shoot them lol:').
BASAC and the rest have rolled over everytime a gun ban came out .
time to take this advice to europe let them get it pass the french italians and spanish who'll shoot anything that moves (':twisted:')
The Game Conservancy Trust's Loddington study has proved, beyond all shadow of a doubt, that predation control on shooting estates results in a rise in the songbird population.

This included the use of Larsen traps (live decoy); humane, highly successful, widely used by all concerned and much vilified by RSPB and every other anti group.

It just goes to show that you can bend over backwards, to demonstrate a valid point, and all that happens is that you are asked to bend over forwards so that you can be right royally shafted! :evil:

DEFRA (Alun Michael once again... Notice anything familiar?) will never listen to anything that is counter to the Neue Arbeit agenda.

The sooner BASC wakes up to this and starts fighting for the WHOLE of the countryside, not just shooters, the better it will be. I am a BASC member but, unless they get their finger out and stop being so cosy with Alun Michael, I will withdraw my membership and pay the money into the Countryside Alliance! Stuff 'em! :evil:

EDIT: I just pulled this off GCT's website:


This is the GCT's response to DEFRA's new rules:-

The text includes answers to questions which are not posted but there are enough points to make it worth a squint:-

We are pleased to respond to this consultation on the provision of Open General
Licences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It is appropriate to review
the terms and conditions of these licences periodically to iron out inconsistencies and
update provisions.
The present arrangements are working and we see no pressing conservation or
welfare case for a major alterations.
We are concerned about a number of the proposals put forward in this document as
they suggest an agenda of trying to place increasing restrictions on the use of these
We note that some of the pressure for further restrictions comes from the EU
Commission. While the Commission will always profess that its initiatives are underpinned
by science, in our experience this is not always the case and they tend to
place more weight on the primacy of EU law than on science. It is therefore
essential that Defra be prepared to re-iterate the scientific rationale for pest control
that underlies these licences.
Review of General Licences to kill or take certain species of
Some key principles of pest control:
· Unlike harvesting gamebirds, where one aims to take the largest bag with the
least long-term effect on a population, controlling pest numbers aims to do the
opposite by killing as few as possible but have the maximum long-term effect.
Thus gamebirds are shot after breeding, when their numbers are at their
maximum, whereas pest species are best controlled when their numbers are
at their minimum - before or during their breeding period. This is one reason
why pest control is so often a spring and summer activity.
· Pest control is about preventing damage, so local control in the vicinity of
where damage is likely to occur is usually more efficient that blanket control
over a much larger area. Timing is important too, because birds that have
been culled are often quickly replaced by immigrants. Thus, to protect nesting
gamebirds from crow predation it often most efficient to kill only the local
territorial crows just before the gamebirds themselves start nesting and
become vulnerable. This way the fewest crows are killed with the greatest
· However, lots of local control efforts can amount to significant regional control.
Thus, if many gamekeepers are keeping crow numbers down there may be
very few crows around in general. In which case it will always be worthwhile
killing the occasional immigrant crow to maintain their low abundance.
· If damage is widespread, such as by woodpigeons which feed on a range of
crops in different seasons, aiming for regional reductions in numbers may well
be worthwhile.
· If, by shooting woodpigeons, hunters are contributing to a regional reduction in
numbers, then some farmers will benefit from reduced damage even though
they may not control pigeons themselves.
t appears to us as though some of the proposals in this consultation run counter to
these principles and therefore, if adopted, would result in reduced effectiveness of
control and increased frustration by practitioners.
ANNEX A Responses
1. On SSSIs and SPAs a condition to consult with English Nature. We totally
oppose this. Such a condition would significantly extend EN’s powers in
relation to SSSIs – effectively through the back door. The Countryside and
Rights of Way Act (2000) gives additional powers to EN with respect to the
management of SSSIs, however these are only to protect the “special interest”
of the site. Thus, unless a site is designated for one of the pest species listed
in the licence, it is no business of EN whether or not a land owner chooses to
control birds under one of these licences.
2. Defining authorised person. We would support such clarification.
3. Humane killing. We support this. It may be appropriate to derogate from
certain provisions of Article 5 under specified circumstances.
4. Humane killing. We support this. We emphasise that cage traps often
operate using a call bird and this should be spelled out in the licence - as
should the conditions under which the call-bird in kept.
5. Use of cage traps – conditions:
· Inspection times. The proposed wording is wrong. In winter sometimes
traps will need to be checked after dark or before first light. We suggest
“…every day and at intervals of no more than 26hrs”.
· Additional condition. We don’t object to this.
· Release of non-targets. We support this condition.
· Record keeping. We support this idea. Good record keeping is good
practice and actually is in the interests of the practitioners
· Labelling traps. We oppose this. While we would like to see a more open
and accountable approach to pest control, unfortunately actions by animal
rights activists suggest to us that they would abuse this information and
harass gamekeepers who are carrying out legitimate business.
· Shade and water: We support this.
· Removal of certain species: We have no views on the two gull species but
we would wish to retain jackdaw, jay and rook on the licences. They
are all egg predators in varying circumstances. The populations of these
birds are either stable or increasing.
· Conditions of trap use. We agree these could be added to the licence.
· Humane dispatch. We agree, provided the use of decoys is specified.
Additional comments: With respect to the use of cage traps to take raptors
illegally, we would support wording on licences (in addition to WLF 100089)
which prevents the use of pigeons or sparrows as decoys.
Notes on kill & take licences.
1. Explanation of the relevant piece of 1981 Act. Agree.
2. Relevant legislation. Agree
3. Firearms. Agree
4. Lead shot regulations. Agree
5. Reverse burden of proof. This needs further exploration. We certainly agree
that practitioners operating under these licences should be able to show that
they understand the rationale for them and can offer an explanation of their
practice that conforms with the purpose and procedures under the licence. But
what is meant by “reverse proof” is not clear. A gamekeeper or a farmer
should not need to prove that crows and magpies are predating other birds on
his farm. He only needs to understand that magpies and crows do this.
Licence WLF 100082. Sale of gulls’ eggs. We see no reason for retaining this
Additions and removal of species from WF18 licence
· We support addition of Canada goose
· We support addition of Egyptian goose
· We would not oppose the removal of starling and house sparrow
provided individual licences can be applied for and will be not unreasonably
· We propose that the Cormorant, on inland waters, is added to this list.
Given the now known impact of these birds on fish stocks and the satisfactory
status of this bird, it would be sensible to include it.
· Additional conditions. All of these are entirely wrong. They appear to be a
deliberate attempt by the Commission to cut down on the use of these
licences to derogate from the Birds Directive under which there was
inadequate provision for pest control. Defra and other organisations should be
in a position to advise landowners on the use of alternative methods of control
and their effectiveness. Practitioners cannot be expected to explore a range of
non-lethal alternatives in each and every case.
Additional licences for air safety and public health:
· We would not be opposed to these additional licences
Licence WLF 10087
· We agree with widening the definition to flora & fauna
· Extra condition: We not agree that this makes anything clearer. The
purpose of the licence is already plain
· Removal of species. Jay, jackdaw and rook should be retained for the
reasons already given – we do not agree with English Nature on this point.
While these birds are certainly less systematic predators than crows or
magpies, flocks of rooks and jackdaws can forage in large numbers over open
terrain. Where partridges are being conserved rook and jackdaw numbers
may need to be reduced. Similarly in some woodland areas, when other
corvids have been reduced, jays can be a local problem. None of these three
birds show a deteriorating conservation status.
Licence WLF 100085. We have no comment to make on this licence.
Licence WLF 100089 – Larsen traps
· Jays. Retain on the list for the reasons already given.
· We agree with new wording “for the purpose of conserving flora & fauna”
· Inspection times. Wording is wrong again - reasons already given.
Suggest “…every day and at intervals of no more than 26hrs”.
· Additional condition. OK.
· Release of non-targets. We support this condition.
· Record keeping. We support good record keeping as already stated.
· Labelling traps. Again, we oppose this. It is likely to be abused by animal

Note the last line, if you practice predator control. I attended a Part Time Gamekeepers Course with the GCT at Fordingbridge, some years ago, and they were very keen to stress that these activities should be conducted with scrupulous attention to humane practices.
The antis are renowned for 'setting up' keepers' traps and snares with non-target species and then reporting them.
To avoid this have your own secure and covert method of marking traps and snares and record them and record all target species taken. If a non-target species is taken by mistake, record and report it yourself, stating the circumstances.
Make sure all your traps and snares fall within current regulations, ie: have snares fitted with stops to avoid strangulation and dispose of target species humanely.
It isn't a lot to ask and represents a more sensible doctrine over the old gamekeepers' gibbet view that the antis like to hold up as the norm.
The GCT runs snaring courses at Fordingbridge; well worth a visit.

Latest Threads