CORONAVIRUS: Advice on shooting activities in England

BASC and other rural organisations have updated their advice for shooting, work on shoots and pest control in England following the government’s latest changes to the regulations for fighting Covid-19. 

We must stress that these changes have been made in England – but not in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.

According to BASC, this advice has been formed after discussions with the government and has been submitted to Defra for confirmation.

In line with the Prime Minister’s statement, from Wednesday 13th May, deer stalkingpest controlconservation and seasonal work on game shoots are possible so long as they meet the requirements described below:

  • You may carry out these activities with those from your household group or one person who is not from your household group.
  • You may travel any distance in England with people from your household group to engage in these activities. If you are meeting a person who is not from your household group they may not travel in the same vehicle as you do.
  • You must observe the rules on social distancing at all times.
  • You must have the permission of the landowner before engaging in any shooting or shooting related work on their land.
  • Any pest control must conform to the law and the general licences.
  • Deer management must be conducted according to the law. Roebucks are currently in season and Muntjac may be managed at any time of the year. 
  • Before shooting any quarry species you should consider how the meat will be put into the food chain.

There have been issues with different police forces interpreting the government’s rules in different ways. 

If in any doubt about how your local police will react you should contact the police before shooting, inform them that you are planning your activities within the current regulations and obtain the reference number for the call.

You should also carry your certificate with you in case you are challenged by the police.

Stalkers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, with special attention given to the rules for public spaces on page 27 – which can be viewed here.

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