Three left-wing parties of the Dutch coalition government are attempting to bring in legislation that will make the Netherlands the first country in Europe to allow shooting only on the basis of case-by-case approval from the authorities. D66, Groenlinks (Green Left) and Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party) have put a motion to ban all gameshooting. Exemptions will be granted for the control of certain species that cause damage, are a danger, or for control of numbers.

There are around 30,000 shooters in the Netherlands, and the country’s shooting and firearms licensing is already some of the most strictly controlled in the world. Only five species are on the quarry list: pheasant, mallard, brown hares, rabbits and pigeon.

A spokesperson for the KNJV (The Royal Dutch Hunting Association) told Shooting Times: “For quite some time, the Dutch anti-hunting lobby has aimed its arrows at what it calls ‘plezierjacht’, which literally translates to ‘pleasure hunting’. In fact, it means gameshooting within the open season, which is from mid-October to the end of December. The quarry list is already very restricted, and other species, such as deer, wild boar, geese and so on, can only be shot if the authorities issue an exemption.

The rest of this article appears in the 3rd April issue of Shooting Times.

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