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DEFRA withdraws the Gamebird Code

In an extraordinary step, agriculture minister Jim Paice MP has withdrawn the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes in England, which was due to gain automatic approval in early June, for urgent redrafting.

The Game Farmers’ Association (GFA) has welcomed the withdrawal by the new Government of what it regarded as a flawed Gamebird Code, laid before Parliament prior to the General Election by the outgoing Labour minister. Jonathan Crow, the Association’s chairman, said: “Common sense has prevailed and a crisis for our industry has been averted at the eleventh hour.”

Earlier this year, late changes to the code were made by the then DEFRA minister against the recommendations of DEFRA’s own Gamebird Working Group and the advice of the Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The rest of this article appears in 2nd June issue of Shooting Times.

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