It’s the start of the pheasant season. Where has the year gone?
The grouse moors in the eastern borders have shot really well and are still busy. Moors in other parts of Scotland have faired less well, in certain areas, due to disease and late snow but I am sure they will bounce back again next year.
We are now well into the partridges and, with some of the strong winds we have had lately, I can only imagine how challenging some of these wee red legs have been.
Could I draw people’s attention to the updated Code of Good Shooting Practice which the SGA, through our sister organisation, the NGO, has been involved in over the years. This is a very important booklet which you can acquire through the office.
The booklet contains five golden rules about safety and respect for the quarry and a distinction is drawn between advice that “MUST” and “SHOULD” be followed regarding behaviour, safety, responsibility, the public highway, game management and game as food.
The code also warns against taking the status quo for granted. It states: “We must never be complacent about the future of shooting.”
For the first time, it features Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust guidance on releasing gamebirds, including recommended stocking densities in rearing pens.
The Snares(Identification Numbers and Tags) (Scotland) Order.
As you know, the Scottish Government was hoping to have the above Order laid by now and coming into force on 1 January 2013. However, due to extended discussions with interested groups, who raised specific concerns about insufficient time to obtain a number, Scottish Government has agreed to move this date back to 1st April 2013.
In short, Scottish Government is hoping to lay the Order in the next couple of weeks.
When the legislation comes into force in early November, snaring operators will be able to apply for a snaring ID number to the Police from this date, but will not be required to use it until 1st April 2013. This will give snaring operators a reasonable period to apply for a number and be issued with one. Hopefully this will also give the Police some additional time to process applications and will avoid a last minute rush to process them.
On Wednesday I’m off up to Battleby to attend a conference called “ An ecosystems approach in action- working with nature for multiple benefits.” This tag line could be applied to any keeper or wildlife manager working in the countryside. I will keep you posted.