lead shot

Lead faces threat of new Euro ban

The use of lead shot is once again in jeopardy as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) considers restricting its use. Last year, before leaving office as DEFRA secretary, Elizabeth Truss MP rejected calls for a ban on lead shot by the Lead Ammunition Group, but it has now now under…

woman with pheasant on shoot

The Code of Good Shooting Practice – why you should read it again

If you’re a responsible shooter, then you need to know the standards the shooting code sets … The Code of Good Shooting Practice — a summary Shooting behaviour: individuals must observe safety, the law and respect for quarry and other wildlife. Responsible shooting: Guns must shoot within their capabilities; shoots…

Should our police be armed?

When you’re up against today’s breed of religious nutter, who’d want a job as a tactical cop in a firearms response team? Slotting an escaped bullock or a gun-wielding loner in a quiet country lane is one thing; dropping a knife crazed fanatic in a crowded city street, something entirely different.…

Scotland puts game-shoot licensing back on the table

Scottish fieldsports groups have expressed their dismay over the Scottish Parliament’s decision to explore the introduction of game-shoot licensing. Last month, the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee voted narrowly in favour of examining a possible licensing scheme to tackle wildlife crime in the country. And cabinet secretary Roseanna…

Brexit

What’s going to happen to shooting after Brexit?

It is possible, if you have been hiding under a particularly large patch of heather, far, far away in the Scottish Highlands – maybe as far north as Ullapool – that you might not have heard the B word. Not “blast!” (when your Labrador has gone rogue), but Brexit. Don’t…

Sir Nicholas Soames

Interview with Sir Nicholas Soames, Conservative MP for Mid Sussex

Sir Nicholas Soames reaches into his pocket and pulls out a box of matches. I wait for the cigar to follow. It would suit him, sitting there, statesmanlike in a dark blue double-breasted suit. Instead, he lights a scented candle on the table, leans back in his chair, and says:…

shotgun certificate

It’s time the firearms licensing system was overhauled – don’t you agree?

Have you seen your doctor recently? If you have, I do hope it wasn’t for anything significant. I don’t know about you, but I consider a visit to the doctor to be what marketing geeks call a “distress purchase”. It isn’t a recreational choice so much as something you do only when absolutely necessary. Mind you, I…

Labrador bitch with puppies

Dog breeders limited to two puppy litters annually

Dog breeders will be limited to just two litters a year under strict new animal welfare laws announced by DEFRA secretary Andrea Leadsom this month. Strict welfare criteria Anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year will now have to apply for a licence and meet “strict welfare criteria”. The current law allows dog breeders…

on grouse moor

How the grouse debate was won

More than two years of hard campaigning by those who wanted to see driven grouse shooting banned has ended in complete failure. Securing parliamentary time for their issue was more than the anti-shooting campaigners dared hope for when they launched their latest petition to ban driven grouse shooting, and their excitement was palpable. The activists’ hopes were dashed however when what seemed…

Animal rights activists

No more hiding for activists as police gain unmasking powers

The House of Lords passed an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill last month that will make it easier for the police to unmask violent protesters. The amendment was made in response to concerns that existing powers do not permit police officers to unmask protesters, often including hunt saboteurs and other animal rights activists, without prior written authorisation. Animal…

Ian Liddell-Grainger with David Cameron

MP forgets to renew firearms licence and is ‘appalled’ at new issue time

The MP has accused Avon and Somerset police of ‘utter incompetence’ after learning it will take a minimum of 16 weeks for a new issue although he was sent a courtesy reminder by the force that the certificate for his rifles and shotguns had expired. Mr Liddell-Grainer commented: “Forgetting to…

Butt used in grouse shoots

Why restrictions on grouse shooting would reduce rural tourism

It will come as no surprise that the inquiry and debate into driven grouse shooting, which was triggered by the online petition on Parliament’s website calling for the sport to be banned, has been at the forefront of the Countryside Alliance’s activities over the past couple of months. However, we have also seen further “attacks” on shooting…

Turkeys

Bird flu confirmed in Lincolnshire

As a result of the outbreak, a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been set up around the poultry farm where the bird flu infection (the strain found is H5N8) has been identified. Turkeys on the poultry farm will be culled. A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’…

rifle and bullets

“Little impact” from EU gun restrictions thanks to MEPs

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford says she is making “good progress” in her discussions to agree revisions to the EU Firearms Directive. Following the third round of discussions between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, Mrs Ford said the three sides were moving together on a range of issues. “At the moment, the Parliament is demanding its key positions are met. We…

Pigeon shooting: The flightline factor

European avian influenza outbreak prompts precautionary bird measures in UK

Poultry keepers must now house their flocks indoors where practicable, or keep them separate from wild birds. In the case of captive gamebirds – as well as geese and other captive birds where housing is recognised by the authorities as being less practicable – steps must be taken to keep…

firearms licensing

Key improvements to firearms law passed by the House of Lords today

The Government has amended the Bill to address firearm certificate renewals and expanding ammunition. The changes mean that expanding ammunition of the kind used for deer stalking moves back to Section 1; and if a renewal has been submitted in a timely fashion and the police have failed to determine…

Weimaraner

Scottish Government turns tail on working dog tail docking

Those of us with British passports may think that we live in a united kingdom, but that’s certainly not the case, as a look at the law will soon confirm. In Northern Ireland, it is legal to shoot a jack snipe or a scaup, but not a moorhen. It is the other way round in mainland Britain.…

mobile phone

Countryside Alliance welcomes new social media laws

Earlier this month, director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders announced: “Social media can be used to educate, entertain and enlighten but there are also people who use it to bully, intimidate and harass. “Ignorance is not a defence and perceived anonymity is not an escape. Those who commit these acts, or encourage others to do the same, can and will be prosecuted,”…

Houses of Parliament

MPs give overwhelming support to grouse shooting

The debate was never going to result in legislation but did represent an important opportunity to get some facts concerning moorland management into Hansard, the Parliamentary record. A large number of MPs attended and over 20 made contributions – which meant that speeches had to be restricted to seven minutes…