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Gamebird code – did DEFRA ignore views?

When DEFRA last week published a summary of responses to its recent consultation on England’s new gamebird code of practice, it was revealed that it added last minute alterations to the code against the overwhelming advice from the public and the majority of interested stakeholders.

DEFRA’s official summary of the responses to the public consultation on the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes showed that only one response out of more than 2,000 called for a ban on mixing incoming birds for the entire breeding season, yet that is what the Government’s new code has imposed.

Equally, only one response out of more than 2,000 called for an increase in the requirement to inspect gamebirds once a day, yet the Government’s final code published last month has doubled that requirement, meaning those who rear chicks and keep poults in release pens will be required to inspect their birds at least twice a day. The requirement will have a particular impact on amateur shoot managers or part-time keepers, many of whom inspect their poults in the release pen once a day, either early in the morning or before dusk.

The rest of this article appears in 7th April issue of Shooting Times.

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