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…

Use of airguns in England and Wales under review

The Government is being urged not to introduce additional legislation restricting the use of airguns in England and Wales, which is under review after a child was wounded in Bristol. The Countryside Alliance (CA) said that though it is right that gun laws should be revisited when tragedies occur, “we…

Michael Gove

DEFRA boss Michael Gove praises shooters

Environment secretary Michael Gove has once again celebrated the role that game shooting and land management plays in preserving the countryside. Mr Gove addressed an audience at last month’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Game and Wildlife Conservation, in a meeting chaired by esteemed countryman Sir Nicholas Soames. Importance of…

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…