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Deer rifle restrictions to be lifted for vermin

The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working Group (ACPO FELWG ) has drafted a new condition to the effect that firearms certificate holders licensed to take deer may also take foxes and other vermin.

Until now, many police forces have set conditions when issuing firearms certificates restricting the use of a particular calibre rifle to a specified quarry species. This has meant, for example, that a gamekeeper out with a rifle approved only for red deer has been unable to shoot a fox at the same time.

Certificate holders will now be able to apply for species-specific conditions to be removed from their certificates and replaced with the new condition. Other laws, such as the 1991 Deer Act, which for welfare reasons requires that certain species must only be shot with sufficiently powerful calibres, will remain in place.

A National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) spokesman welcomed the move. He told Shooting Times: “We approached ACPO FELWG last November urging this common sense approach and recently had a face-to-face meeting with their chairman. We are absolutely delighted with this outcome.”


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