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Wildlife law review

Countryside Alliance says review is overdue

Countryside organisations have given a cautious welcome to plans designed to consolidate the UK?s many pieces of wildlife legislation into a single statute.

The Law Commission says the legislation on wildlife crime is “out of date, confused and often contradictory” and is encouraging members of the public to take part in its consultation on the subject.

Many groups, including BASC and the National Gamekeepers Organisation, had been part of discussions with the Commission prior to the publication of the consultation document.

BASC’s director of conservation Tim Russell said: “The devil is going to be in the detail. We would welcome anything that does away with complicated wildlife law and improves the legal regime for shooting, but we want to make sure that what replaces it is fit for purpose and good for people who shoot.”

BASC’s director of communication, Christopher Graffius, told Shooting Times that a more flexible and responsive wildlife law could work well for shooting, but that shooters must ensure their voice is heard and be aware of the potential dangers.

He said: “Currently, for example, shooting seasons can be varied by primary legislation, but the proposals would allow them to be varied by order. This is a good thing for shooters, so long as we don’t have an anti-shooting government that wants to limit shooting by shortening the seasons.”

Head of political affairs at the Countryside Alliance, James Legge, said that his organisation had long argued for proper wildlife management legislation.