Police officer in countryside

Labour launches “most radical animal welfare plan in the world”

Labour has called its plans for tackling wildlife crime the “most radical animal welfare plan in the world”. The party has stated that it would spend an additional £4.5m to recruit wildlife crime officers with numbers increasing from 88 to 170. The officers would be dedicated to dealing with illegal hare coursing,…

land management of grouse moor

Land management is hampered by officials with little knowledge

When a senior member 
of Natural England asks 
a grouse keeper how many birds he releases and it’s not 1 April, you have a right 
to worry. It is not the only example 
of government employees showing 
a serious lack of working knowledge. The licensing debacle has left the management…

carrying a knife for hunting

What’s the law on carrying a knife for hunting?

My son and his friend recently returned home with some un-paunched rabbits. When I asked him why he said they were concerned about carrying a knife in case they were stopped by police.

Struggling with recoil

Labour Party outlines shooting plans

The Labour Party has released its Animal Welfare Manifesto, which includes a 
number of proposals that could affect 
the future of shooting. The 10-page document, announced recently by Sue Hayman, the shadow environment secretary, proposes, among other things: the prohibition of keeping gamebirds in cages and a plan to ban…

airgun on ground

BASC and RSPCA align on airguns

Improved enforcement of airgun laws is required to tackle increasing misuse, say BASC and the RSPCA, which plan to set up 
a working group to tackle the issue. Solving airgun crime The consensus comes after the two organisations hosted a joint conference dedicated to solving the issue of airgun crime.…

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove MP

Electronic collars – Michael Gove recognises benefits

During environment questions at the House of Commons yesterday, Environment Secretary, Michael Gove MP advised MPs that he recognises the benefits of electronic collars used in boundary fence systems, as a consultation proposing a total ban on the use of these devices comes to a close today.  Play a valuable…

rifle and bullets

New extension brought in for firearm and shotgun certificate renewals

Shooters can now receive an eight-week extension to firearm and shotgun certificate renewals under certain circumstances, in a move that it is hoped will reduce the existing backlog in renewals. The new extension, brought in through the Policing and Crime Act 2017, will allow licensing departments to take extra time…

licensing fees for firearms increased by Government

Licensing fees under review

The Home Office is exploring an increase in licensing 
fees for firearms. The 
minister responsible for 
firearms licensing, Nick 
Hurd MP, recently confirmed 
in a written answer to 
a Parliamentary question 
that fees are currently 
being reviewed. This would be another blow to the wallet for shooters, coming just 
a…

deerstalking male deer

New gun laws could have ‘unintended consequences’

The Countryside Alliance (CA) and BASC have both warned of “unintended consequences” 
for shooters stemming from the Government’s proposed new Offensive Weapons Bill. Announced by the Home Office earlier this month, the Bill forms part of the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy and had yet to be published at the time…

pigeon shooting

Government ‘betrayal’ on GP fees for new licences

Proposals to make every gun owner pay a fee to their GP when applying for a shotgun or firearm certificate have been declared as a betrayal by Government. Following a recent meeting with Nick Hurd, the minister responsible for firearm licensing, BASC understands the government plans to abandon the system…

Government has no plans to license grouse shooting

The Government has highlighted the importance of shooting and said it has no intention to licence driven grouse shooting after responding to an online petition. The petition, which received the support of the RSPB, said that licensing was a “middle way” between an outright ban and doing nothing, which would…

electric training collar ban

English training collar ban consultation is launched

The Government has launched a consultation to seek views on a proposed electric training collar ban for cats and dogs in England, as suggested several weeks ago by the Kennel Club. The club earlier claimed that a ban on the sale and use of the devices was on the way,…

firearms licensing

Review of firearms licensing in Scotland drives call for improvements

HMICS has powers to look into the “state, effectiveness and efficiency” of both the Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). It said that while firearms licensing in Scotland has become more consistent since the formation of Police Scotland in 2013, there are still many areas requiring improvement. A…

Labour Party proposes a ban on “intensive rearing”

The Labour Party’s proposed animal welfare plan, which includes a pledge to “promote high standards with regards to game shoots”, has had a mixed reception from rural groups. Published on the heels of the Government’s own proposed Animal Welfare Bill, the 50-point plan seeks to improve the treatment of wild,…

Defra boss shares rural vision

Rural groups have welcomed the commitment to British farming shown by Defra secretary Michael Gove as he set out his vision for the future of the industry in a speech earlier this month. Speaking at the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference, Mr Gove highlighted issues he wished to tackle to ensure…

raptor persecution

New maps help crack down on bird crime

New interactive maps have been hailed as a valuable tool in the fight against raptor persecution. The maps detail incidents involving the shooting, poisoning and trapping of birds of prey, and the destruction of their nests in England and Wales. They were developed by the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group…

Animal rights activists

Can threatening saboteurs still wear masks?

Q: My wife, who hunts with a local pack of foxhounds, recently found herself being abused by two hunt saboteurs, both of whom were wearing masks to hide their identity. Police were called and the saboteurs eventually dispersed. I thought some legislation had been brought in to force these thugs…

air rifle scopes

Air weapons review opened this week

The air weapons review was announced in October following a recommendation by Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Suffolk, Dr Peter Dean, who wrote to the Home Office requesting a review after the death of Benjamin Wragge, aged 13, who was accidently shot by an air weapon.  The review will seek…

airgun

Licensing airguns is not the answer, says BASC firearms officer

Early reports on licensing airguns in Scotland appear to show a lack of compliance — generally from an absence of knowledge rather than criminal intent. A law came into force on 1 January in Scotland making it an offence to possess an airgun without a specific certificate or a temporary exemption…