Wing tagging is once again a legal way of identifying birds, after recent amendment to the regulations. The 2008 Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) (Amendment) Regulations came into force on 4 June. They make minor changes to the effect of the 2006 Animal Welfare Act. Importantly, one of these is to allowing tagging of non-farmed birds (which includes all gamebirds) for conservation purposes and for research (including education and captive breeding programmes). “We welcome this move.

The ban on wing tagging in 2006 was something of an oversight by Government and this new regulation effectively takes us back to where we were before then,” a spokesman for the Game Farmers’ Association told ST. He added that there is now no reason why the technique should not be more widely adopted: “Not many shoots wing-tag their birds or ask their gamefarmer to do so but some like to know more to help with their long-term planning. Provided their reasons are conservation or research, they can now use wing tags once more.”

The rest of this article appears in 12 June issue of Shooting Times.

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