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Author Topic: Journalist request / Shooting licenses  (Read 352 times)

RG

  • Joined May 2019
Journalist request / Shooting licenses
« on: May 08, 2019, 10:56:17 am »
Hello everyone -

I wonder if you can help.

I am a freelance journalist (you can see my work here: https://richardgodwin.contently.com/). I'm writing about crows, Natural England and the ongoing controversy/confusion surrounding shooting licenses for the Guardian's G2 section.

Latest here:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/07/backlash-against-head-natural-england-denies-shooting-rule-change/

I'm hoping to speak to farmers who can talk to me about the menace that crows (in particular) cause, whether this has changed over time, and what the effect of all this confusion over shooting has been. (Arable and sheep farmers principally?). Certain corners of the media have presented this as trigger happy farmers vs evil murderous crows... or metropolitan keyboard warriors vs honest rural folk...  but obviously there's more to it than that!

All shades of opinion welcome - I want to write a balanced and nuanced piece and am speaking to all sides! You can email me at richardgodwin81@gmail.com - but general comments welcome here too.

Thanks,

Richard
Voss Electric Fence

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Journalist request / Shooting licenses
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 02:56:55 pm »
Can't offer any useful input myself RG, but good luck with your analysis/piece.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 03:02:48 pm by arobwk »

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Journalist request / Shooting licenses
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 04:12:31 pm »
I feel this is a box ticking exercise a general tightening up, which is a sort of a positive thing. Perhaps there SHOULD be a test to ensure shooters can tell a rook from a blackbird before they go blasting away at anything that moves?

But to be honest, I feel it won’t help the country nor wildlife in anyway a is a waste of resources.
Consider all those people who’ll have to fill in a form and all the other people who will get paid with public money to sit and read the forms and fill in other forms. I’d much rather use these resources to get them all to go out and help a community garden, plant some wildflowers or trees instead. Because this actually would help wildlife, the planters’ physical and mental health and provide a service to the country. PhD Ecology and enjoy shooting and pest control when I get time.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Journalist request / Shooting licenses
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 09:27:28 pm »
Last year I shot magpies stealing swallows eggs , blackbirds eggs and gold crest eggs.

Today I shot 2 magpies , stealing chickens eggs ,denying me chicks , also took 3 crows raiding nests in the hedge , reducing the songbird numbers born this year.
All birds are intelligent and ingenious, more so the corvids who will cause damage for the sake of it.
Scarecrows, bird bangers are no deterrent, not even an old man sitting in the chicken run for half an hour.

I agree there should be better control but the way this has been done and by the wrong people smacks of personal agendas. Now that DEFRA has taken back control of general licensing evidence gathering has started with a view to sort this mess out. Sadly Natural England still have control over individual licenses, for the moment.

Lucky I live in Scotland Eh ?

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Re: Journalist request / Shooting licenses
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 07:03:53 am »
I feel this is a box ticking exercise a general tightening up, which is a sort of a positive thing. Perhaps there SHOULD be a test to ensure shooters can tell a rook from a blackbird before they go blasting away at anything that moves?
Rest assured, licensing conditions are quite rigorous. There will always be a knob who does something that they shouldn’t but on the whole people value their license, once its gone its nye on impossible to get back - hence it is almost self regulating and the vast majority are normal day to day people who you would never imagine being a ‘Blood thirsty wildlife murdering hoodie yob’ - because hey guess what they’re not.

As smallholders I’m pretty sure the majority of us have experienced corvids taking eggs from nesting boxes or witnessed chicks being taken - this is life. What we witness goes on in the hedgerows on the songbirds we all like to see & hear, why Natural England removed the General Licenses in the manner they did beggars belief. A government body acting in this manner is not fit for purpose and of serious concern. The licenses may have not been perfect but they allowed country folk to go about their business and help control numbers of pest species - this is the avian equilavent of giving protected species status to rats & mice!!!
A classic example of bureaucrats getting hoodwinked by a loud opinionated minority, with serious ramifications - actually its worse because Tony Juniper (head of Natural England) is probably one such person.
As for the original question about confusion, there is none - with the newly introduced stop gap licenses issued they are so open to misinterpretation anyone shooting pigeons / corvids leaves themselves wide open to prosecution. As already stated, the vast majority of shooting folk are very law abiding so this isn’t something people are happy with and hence the issues being discussed (while all the time eggs/chicks continue to be taken).
Would be far simpler to just classify said bird species as pests and allow people to get on with it.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Journalist request / Shooting licenses
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 08:15:39 am »
ZacB, My question was hypothetical, I hold FAC and SG certs.  If there were some sort of species ID exam as part of the new general license regs I could see how it might be useful for protecting wildlife, otherwise, the situation is the same, but with extra paperwork. 
In theory the number of people holding the firearms will remain the same and I assume they will all now fill in a form to allow them to shoot the same damaging pest species as they could last year without the new bit of paper. I don’t see how one animal life will be saved or how this new reg benefits any aspect of the country if that is the aim?
Thank goodness I’m in Scotland! 

 

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