It doesn’t make sense that a person with a three-shot can shoot duck and someone with a four-shot cannot.

Everyone I have asked doesn’t know the answer.

David Frost
It’s all to do with the European Birds Directive and the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WAC) which implements the Directive in the UK.

The WAC prohibits the use of any semi-automatic shotgun for shooting wild birds.

For this purpose semi-automatic means a self-loading or pump action gun capable of holding more than three cartridges.

The reason, says the EU, is to prevent the wholesale shooting of large numbers of wild birds, which could lead to a serious population decline.

The WAC permits the issue of general licences for shooting pests (most of which are wild birds) and those licences include the use of multi-shot shotguns, which is why you can use yours for pest species but not quarry species.