The European Commission officially launched the EU Guide to Sustainable Hunting under the Birds Directive on 16 March, in Paris.
The guide clarifies the hunting requirements of the 1979 Wild Birds Directive, the law that grants EU member states the right to make derogations allowing the shooting of specific birds. In the UK, the law allows game to be shot in season and pests to be controlled under the terms of general licences.
The publication of the guide comes as the Birds Directive itself celebrates its 30th anniversary on 2 April, making it the EUs oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, providing protection for all wild bird species occurring throughout the Union.
Organisations representing UK shooters welcomed the guides launch. BASCs John Swift told Shooting Times, the guide makes some big advances that will provide greater security for shooting in the UK. First, it gives high-level recognition to, and greater clarification of, the provisions of the Directive that cover the taking of wild birds, i.e. our sport. It is once again made clear that shooting within these guidelines is explicitly recognised and supported by the European Commission as a sustainable activity.
The rest of this article appears in 26 March issue of Shooting Times.
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