Change to the law on bird pest control

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,094
3,260
Mid Wales
Is it still illegal to hunt for food, if not If anyone wants a hand shooting them, I am happy to come and consume pidgeon from mid July onward.

Believe it or not, when you are shooting a 'non-game' wild bird species in the UK, even to eat, you are doing so under the general licence which has currently been withdrawn. So, no, it is not currently legal (as far as I can tell) to hunt pigeon for food!

This clearly needs sorting.
 

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
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I'm not realy very qualified for this conversation but as a teenager aged 16 or so we had a hop field or two out the back of where we lived. The farmer used to pay us an amount of money.. I've forgotten how much ..for every pigeon we shot when ithe hop shoots were comming up. They used to decimate the shoots otherwise. It was very nessasary as being close to several houses a bird scarer would have been a noise nuisance to the residents . An air rifle morning and evening for an hour or two wasn't so much of a problem. I feel sorry for the farmers that might need to use this method for whatever reason.
I must admit I don't like killing for any reason but sometimes it is nessasary. I'm ok if it's done for the pot.
A few summer's ago I had problems with corvids in my garden. It took a month or so of constant vigilance and scaring them off with a slingshot before they learned they were not welcome on my square of land.
I often now watch them flying overhead and if they see me they veer off with a sound that sounds as if they are swearing at me! Corvids do learn but not many people have the time or patience. It was fascinating watching how they posted sentries to try and circumvent me and I learned to listen for their all clear safe to pilfer call and dive outside to shoo them off.!
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,094
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Mid Wales
You're living in a screw-ball world. Big city nut-jobs come up with this?

I beg to differ. Yes, it's a mess at the moment and needs sorting, but in a crowded country with limited wildlife those of us that hunt should be accountable in our abilities and methods. There are plenty of people here that would not know or care about the difference between a turtle dove (a very rare species now in the UK) and a feral pigeon or a raven and a crow!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,094
3,260
Mid Wales
The farmer used to pay us an amount of money.. I've forgotten how much ..for every pigeon we shot when ithe hop shoots were comming up.

We used to get paid, as kids, to shoot cock pheasant at the end of the season. We didn't know it was illegal because the landowners/gamekeeper asked us to do it. Now, thousands of pheasant remain in the country eating many important indigenous species (such as slow worm, common lizard, many caterpillars and insects) and competing with indigenous ground nesting birds. On what other planet would you be allowed to release hundreds of thousands of non-native wildlife species into the countryside without any liability?

I will add (somewhat hypocritically) that my rough shooting (walking the hedges, sadly no longer with my spaniel) would be far less productive if they didn't :)
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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In pheasant season I can pick up half a dozen fresh kills on the road every day a couple of miles away. No need for a gun.
Lethel if I'm trying to ride my bike along there. I had one fly up and hit me in the chest on a corner once. I was lucky not to crash. I do wish this particular chap would not release them into a field next to a busy main road. He must loose hundreds each year to cars. You'd think he'd have a bit more concern for his birds if not the safety of drivers as they brake suddenly in front of you and swerve madly trying to avoid the birds. I've come round the bend to find a car stopped on my side of the road and a family of non locals crying and trying to rescue a bird they'd hit. If I had not been going very slowly at 20 mph on a normaly 40 mph corner it could have been very nasty both for me and one of the kids i missed by a whisker. Madness!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,109
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S. Lanarkshire
Enough of them smashed up on a road leaves it greasy too.
I worked in Perthshire for a while, and there were two tight corners on a twisty loch side road like that. Not quite a single track road, but really close driving to pass for two ordinary sized cars iimmc ?
I think this blanket ban would have been fine if the structures and staff had been in place to process thousands of application in very short order, and folks had been given a timely heads up beforehand.
Doesn't sound like it though, does it ?
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,706
1,650
McBride, BC
Will be interesting to watch the resolution, whatever the justification.

We appear to have almost unlimited land space and large wildlife populations.
Those values provide absolutely no insurance for the survivorship of
many species from the big (Mountain Caribou) to the little (native Ladybird Beetles.)
Neither of those has ever been on anyone's bag list.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,738
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Florida
I beg to differ. Yes, it's a mess at the moment and needs sorting, but in a crowded country with limited wildlife those of us that hunt should be accountable in our abilities and methods. There are plenty of people here that would not know or care about the difference between a turtle dove (a very rare species now in the UK) and a feral pigeon or a raven and a crow!
I agree your dense population makes for a different regulatory approach. I suspect RV’s right about much of the problem coming from urban types with no real knowledge though. Bear in mind our hunting, fishing, and conservation laws aren’t necessarily any better. Just different.

You mentioned turtle doves and they’re being rare now. Do y’all have mourning doves? They’re a migratory game bird here. Usually the first hunting season to open in autumn is dove season (dates vary by location as they migrate) Difficult to shoot as they fly relatively high and fast. But quite delicious if you can limit out with a dozen or so to feed the family. https://d1ia71hq4oe7pn.cloudfront.net/og/75711541-1200px.jpg
 
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Jan 13, 2018
358
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Rural Lincolnshire
…………….. Corvids do learn but not many people have the time or patience. It was fascinating watching how they posted sentries to try and circumvent me and I learned to listen for their all clear safe to pilfer call and dive outside to shoo them off.!

The police found over 2000 dead crows on highways recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the ...bird's beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

They then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "bike".
 

MinTheLab

Member
Feb 24, 2019
31
16
45
A farm in Nottinghamshire
Is it still illegal to hunt for food, if not If anyone wants a hand shooting them, I am happy to come and consume pidgeon from mid July onward.

Shooting pigeon for food has never been legal, you have to comply to the GL rules, killing them for food isn't on there.

The crow GL is now out and available to use, not sure why the pigeon GL is taking so long.
 
Apr 8, 2009
1,102
75
Ashdown Forest
The police found over 2000 dead crows on highways recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the ...bird's beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

They then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "bike".

Ha - brilliant!
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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The police found over 2000 dead crows on highways recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the ...bird's beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

They then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "bike".

Ha ha, for half a minute I thought this was a serious post then I got a bit confused as to the length people were going to to solve the puzzle. Then I got annoyed bikers were taking the blame and wondered how many bikers had been injured and could understand why so much trouble was taken. Then came the punchline.... groan! Good one!
 
Jan 13, 2018
358
250
63
Rural Lincolnshire
Ha ha, for half a minute I thought this was a serious post then I got a bit confused as to the length people were going to to solve the puzzle. Then I got annoyed bikers were taking the blame and wondered how many bikers had been injured and could understand why so much trouble was taken. Then came the punchline.... groan! Good one!


I've also heard it with 'Truck' instead of 'Bike' (maybe you'd prefer that one ?)
 

Samon

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 24, 2011
3,970
41
Britannia!
Can I kill pest species on my own land and the land of those who have given me permission?

I'm a little confused and navigating on my phone is difficult.
 

MinTheLab

Member
Feb 24, 2019
31
16
45
A farm in Nottinghamshire
Can I kill pest species on my own land and the land of those who have given me permission?

I'm a little confused and navigating on my phone is difficult.

The new GL for corvids is now available on Natural England's website, the GL for pigeon isn't released yet. So, no you cannot use the GL for controlling anything but crows at this time.

You can however apply for a licence in the interim period if you really need to control anything else.

Obviously this only covers birds, rabbits and deer are not affected.
 
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MinTheLab

Member
Feb 24, 2019
31
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45
A farm in Nottinghamshire
Or you could do what most landowners around here are doing and ring natural England and say I’m shooting regardless and I’ll take the potential fine.

The chances of being prosecuted is negligible. It’s a paper exercise, we know it, NE know it, the police know it.
 

MinTheLab

Member
Feb 24, 2019
31
16
45
A farm in Nottinghamshire
Good advice that, MinTheLab!

It is exactly that attitude that brought in these changes!

What attitude? It was legal to control birds because of crop damage, nothing has changed, the crops are still being damaged.

It’s not only my advice, it’s farmers that have drilled 100’s of acres of spring peas that are now blue with pigeon and will yield nothing.

It’s worth the fine to protect the drilling’s as the loss is worth more than the fine.
 

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