Last week, on Monday, 7 June, Jim Paice MP, the minister for shooting, chaired a special meeting of the Gamebird Working Group to redraft the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes in England.

During the meeting, discussion focused around the wording of a revised code, following Mr Paice’s decision to withdraw the code last month in order that it could be urgently redrafted to amend controversial clauses, including the ban on

the use of raised laying units, the mixing of breeding birds, the introduction of mandatory inspection intervals and restrictions governing the siting of release pens. A form of words for each of these aspects was decided for inclusion in a revised code which will be relaid before Parliament shortly.

The meeting included representatives from the Game Farmers’ Association (GFA), BASC, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, the Countryside Alliance, the CLA, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) and the RSPCA. The GFA described the meeting as “very positive” from the perspective of gamefarmers and the shooting industry, adding: “We expect that a redrafted code, which addresses welfare concerns without imposing unjustified restrictions on gamefarmers, will be put before Parliament in the near future.”

The rest of this article appears in 16th June issue of Shooting Times.

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