The suspension is applied to offer extra protection when severe weather disrupts feeding and roosting patterns.
By Barnaby Dracup
Monday, 04 January 2010
Shooting of certain bird species to be suspended in Scotland for the first time in 13 years because of the prolonged spell of snow and ice.
Shooting restrictions in Scotland due to cold weather.
From 9.00am on Tuesday 5th of January it will become illegal to shoot ducks; including reared mallard; geese, woodcock, snipe and golden plover.
The suspension could last for up to two weeks, but should be reviewed after seven days if there is an improvement in conditions.
The last such suspension was in January 1997 and covered the whole of Great Britain. The last suspension in Scotland alone was in 1993.
Dr Colin Shedden, director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) in Scotland, said: “The legal suspension of the shooting of wildfowl and wading birds is applied in order to offer extra protection when an extended period of severe weather is likely to disrupt the birds’ feeding and roosting patterns. Hunters in Scotland have been under advice to exercise extra restraint in shooting these birds since Boxing Day.”
Following agreed criteria, Minister for Environment, Roseanna Cunningham, has today signed an order under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which will bring the suspension into force from the 5th of January.
The legal suspension is introduced on the fifteenth day of severe weather, according to data collected at coastal weather stations by the Meteorological Office.
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