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Conor O'Gorman

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About Conor O'Gorman

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  • Birthday 01/01/1974

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    Rossett, North Wales
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    Policy Development Manager for BASC.<br />Enjoy pigeon shooting, wildfowling and fly-fishing.

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  1. A number of Scottish Gamekeepers Association advisory updates below Deer stalking in Scotland https://news.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/2020/03/march-25th-coronavirus-updates-for.html Firearms licensing in Scotland https://news.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/2020/03/important-firearms-licensing-news-for.html Public access in Scotland https://news.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/2020/03/member-notice-access-during-coronavirus.html
  2. Advice and guidance is available online from various organisations for individuals and businesses. Links below in case that helps. Angling Trust https://www.joinanglingtrust.net/covid19-support-hub BASC https://basc.org.uk/coronavirus/ BDS https://www.bds.org.uk/index.php/news-events CA https://www.countryside-alliance.org/covid-19-hub If you have any shooting related queries as an individual or a business and are a BASC member please email me at conor.ogorman@basc.org.uk with your postcode and membership number and I will ensure you get a response. If there are other organisations giving advice that I missed please post comments with links below.
  3. BASC is owned by its members, including me and you. If 1% of members sign up then a Special General Meeting will be feasible. I have outlined this in emails to you and any other BASC members that have contacted me.
  4. The decision for BASC to join the other rural organisations in issuing the statement on Monday and again on Friday was taken by BASC Council. For more on BASC Council visit https://basc.org.uk/about-us/basc-council/ For the latest information on lead ammunition visit www.basc.org.uk/lead If any BASC members feel strongly about policy decision making at BASC and consultation with members I would recommend that they attend the next AGM in July. If anyone wishes to discuss BASC's position on lead ammo with me please direct message me and we can take it from there.
  5. BASC weekly email newsletter was sent out yesterday afternoon. This issue covered a range of key topic including the joint statement on the future of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting. Visit https://mailchi.mp/8e4c7ee4def1/the-latest-from-basc-1761033 to read this week's BASC newsletter Anyone, BASC member or not, can sign up for the newsletter. Visit https://basc.org.uk/basc-live/ to sign up. Next week, BASC's bi-monthly membership magazine 'Shooting and Conservation' will start arriving with members in the post. The magazine will also include information on the joint statement and shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting. There is lots of information on our website at https://basc.org.uk/lead/ See also: Joint statement and video https://basc.org.uk/a-joint-statement-on-the-future-of-shotgun-ammunition-for-live-quarry-shooting/ BASC guide to using non-lead shot for live quarry shooting https://basc.org.uk/lead/guide-to-using-non-lead-shot/ The appeal of steel https://basc.org.uk/the-appeal-of-steel/ STEEL – more than a glance https://basc.org.uk/steel-more-than-a-glance/ The View from Afar (from the perspective of the US, The Netherlands and Denmark) https://basc.org.uk/the-view-from-afar/ A soluble solution? (James Green testing eco-wad and reference to plastics) https://basc.org.uk/a-soluble-solution/ Lead shot: A historical reflection https://basc.org.uk/lead-shot-a-historical-reflection/ Westminster welcome for lead-free pledge https://basc.org.uk/westminster-welcome-for-lead-free-pledge/ Defra issues statement in response to lead ammunition announcement https://basc.org.uk/defra-issues-statement-in-response-to-lead-ammunition-announcement/ For any BASC members reading this that wish to put their concerns on record with BASC or have any other feedback or requests for advice on this topic - please email lead@basc.org.uk or phone 01244 573057.
  6. I have sent direct messages to people that tagged/quoted me in this thread. If I missed anyone please message me. If you are a BASC member and want to put your concerns on record with BASC then I would suggest you email lead@basc.org.uk or phone 01244 573057.
  7. Misinformation is rife on this issue from various keyboard warriors. Some FAQs are below to help bust the myths: FAQs B Why now? Recent technological developments have made non-lead shot more effective, more widely available and more affordable. Equally, biodegradable wads are now a possibility. These advances are continuing at pace and it is now time for the wider live quarry shooting community to join the wildfowlers, who have used non-lead alternatives successfully for the last twenty years. In addition, there are over-burdening legislative changes coming down the line as a result of work being undertaken by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Despite Brexit, we are expecting that these regulations will be implemented in the UK either due to a requirement to sell lead free game into Europe, or by UK legislation. B What are the organisations calling for? Collectively, we are calling for a phased transition away from the use of lead shot in shotgun shooting for all live quarry. We are also calling for the end of single-use plastics in all shotgun ammunition. We feel that both goals are achievable within a five-year time frame, allowing suitable time for the industry to respond with new product development and ensure adequate supply. B Why is using lead shot a problem? Concerns around the use of lead shot limit the current market for game products, and retailers are increasingly asking for game that has been shot with non-lead alternatives. Additionally, lead has been progressively removed from other substances, such as petrol and paint. There is growing concern about the damage lead shot causes to wildlife away from wetlands. The fact that non-lead alternatives of suitable quality are increasingly available means that we should transition towards them. B What are the alternatives? Alternatives include steel, bismuth and tungsten-based shots. These are available in a variety of shot sizes and calibres. B So do the alternatives all behave the same way? No. Each metal behaves differently and those that shoot need to be aware of the differences. Simple patterning tests and practice on clays will help ensure that Guns identify which is best suited to their guns and their intended quarry. B I’ve heard that steel shot is ineffective. This is a rumour from the very early days of steel shot development. Field trials comparing lead and steel shot have found no differences in a number of measures, including lethality and effectiveness at practical shooting ranges [1]. [1] – An 11-year study at the Camargue, in France, found that: “After 11 years of hunting with non-toxic shot, there was unexpectedly no clear pattern in trends of individual effectiveness among hunters.” (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10344-014-0897-x) B Can I fire steel shot through my shotgun? Steel shot is classified as either standard or high performance. If your gun is nitro-proofed (i.e. it can fire modern lead loads) then it will be safe to fire standard performance steel. This is generally steel of size 4 or smaller. High performance steel must be marked as such on the box, and should only be fired through guns bearing the fleur-de-lys proofmark, and usually with the words “STEEL SHOT” stamped on the barrel. If you have any doubt about your gun, seek the advice of an expert gunsmith. B I have an old gun and am worried about possible barrel damage. Tests have found that standard performance 24g steel loads did not cause any damage in thin-walled game guns, even after a thousand shots [1]. However, if you are unable to use steel then your main alternative is bismuth, which is suitable for both muzzle-loading and Damascus-barrelled guns. Bismuth does cost more than both lead and steel but, ultimately, this is all about choices and securing the future of sustainable shooting. [1] – The Assessment of the Tolerance of Shotgun Chokes to Steel Shot – An Initial Study: Dr DF Allsop, Royal Military College of Science (1991). B I was told this will be the end of high bird shooting. Recent developments in soft steel shotgun cartridges should provide alternatives to lead suitable for all normal game-shooting ranges. Such ammunition is safe in the modern guns that are generally used for high bird shooting. B What about steel ricochets? All shot can ricochet. This is most likely to occur off rocks or other hard surfaces and, to a lesser extent, water and trees. There is evidence that steel ricochets slightly more than lead, but this is in a more predictable path [1]. The fact remains that an unsafe shot with lead is an unsafe shot with steel. [1] – Ricochet & Bounce Back Studies Using Steel & Lead Shot: Dr DF Allsop, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Cranfield University (2009). B Am I more likely to damage a tooth on steel shot? Caution should be taken when eating game, because any type of shot can damage teeth, including lead and bismuth. There is a chance of damage if you were to accidentally bite steel shot, but dentists in countries that have already phased out lead have not seen an increase in tooth damage due to biting shot since the transition. B Are American rules for shot ballistics different from the UK? They are. Gun and cartridge manufactures must test to agreed standards. The USA standard allows for higher and faster loads than Europe. B Is anything being done to change this? A CIP (the European organisation responsible for the safety testing of firearms and ammunition) working group, with UK representation, is studying the possibility of raising velocity and shot weight limits for steel to those set by SAAMI (the US equivalent to CIP), to increase performance. We are collectively lobbying to ensure priority for such changes. B Are new cartridges being developed? Yes. We anticipate that, as interest and demand for non-lead shot grows, further developments in cartridge manufacture will rapidly meet any remaining needs. We are working closely with manufacturers, and lobbying for technical development grants from the government, to ensure that these advances continue apace. B What about those of us who use large lead shot for controlling foxes? Advances in steel shot cartridges have resulted in viable lead shot alternatives for larger wildfowl such as geese. However, adult foxes may require greater shot pellet density for effective penetration, energy transfer and humane despatch. There are a number of excellent non-lead alternatives in use for coyote and fox shooting in the USA, said by many to work even better than lead. During the transition period, we will be working with cartridge manufacturers and importers to ensure these alternatives become available in the UK. B What should I be asking for at my local gun shop? If you have checked with a gunsmith, and are confident that your gun is suitable, we suggest using steel shot going forward. Ask for shot two sizes larger than you currently use in lead (e.g. size 4 steel if you currently use size 6 in lead) and insist on biodegradable wads. B Are there some countries in Europe that have stopped using lead shot? Yes. Denmark, the Netherlands and the Flemish region of Belgium. B How have these countries got on with the alternatives? They have not reported any problems with the effectiveness. Indeed, in many cases steel shot has been found to pattern more successfully than lead and to have superior levels of penetration. B I heard that Norway reversed its lead ban. This is true, but the situation Norway faced in 2014 is quite different from where we are now, in 2020. Their principal reason for reversing a lead ban was insufficient lethality in their available non-lead rifle ammunition. In addition, the use of shotguns in Norwegian woodland is very low compared with the UK. Furthermore, the quality of non-lead shotgun cartridges has increased significantly over the last six years and will only continue to do so during our transition period. We are not proposing any change to rifle ammunition. B What do you mean by a phased transition? The development of non-lead cartridges has been rapid and ongoing. However, there are still improvements to be made in availability and choice, especially for smaller-gauge guns. We are therefore phasing the transition over a five-year period to enable manufacturers to bring the products that are currently in development to market. B Are you asking people to stop using plastic cartridge cases? No. There is now a huge market for recycled plastic and we are encouraging guns to support manufacturers’ efforts to produce plastic cartridges from recycled, rather than new, plastic. We are calling for an end to non-biodegradable plastic wads in shotgun cartridges, which are not routinely or effectively collected during live quarry shooting. B What about ammunition for rifle target shooting, including with muzzle loading and historic arms, clay shooting and live quarry rifle shooting (including pest control and large game shooting)? Viable alternatives are being researched. Where lead ammunition is used in a contained environment, such as a range, or there is an absence of reasonable alternatives, we feel lead should continue to be used.
  8. Nine shooting and rural organisations have today announced they want an end to the use of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting within five years. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), British Game Alliance (BGA), Countryside Alliance (CA), Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), the Moorland Association (MA), Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS) say significant recent advances in technology have enabled the transition to take place. The group is calling for the support of the wider shooting community and says such a change will benefit wildlife and the environment while also safeguarding the growing market for healthy game meat. Further information is available on the websites of the above nine organisations and you can also find the latest information on BASC’s website at www.basc.org.uk/lead
  9. Have your say on Scottish Natural Heritage’s general licences consultation by completing an online survey by 9 October. What bird species do you think should stay on next year’s general licences? Are there any bird species that you think should be added to next year’s general licences? Practitioner evidence is going to be very important in decision making where scientific evidence might be limited. When completing the online questionnaire please use your field observations and experience as evidence where requested. You do not need to answer all the questions in the survey. Only answer the questions where you feel you can provide a valid reason to back up your answer. To complete the survey click the following link: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/2019GL/ THANK YOU! Many thanks to those that took the time to fill in BASC's Scottish general licences survey. Our response, using data from this survey, will be submitted to the general licences consultation. For more information on the survey results see: https://basc.org.uk/blog/generallicenses/gl-scotland/basc-survey-highlights-fundamental-importance-of-general-licences-in-Scotland/
  10. General licences allow preventative action to be taken so you do not need to wait until damage has occurred. For more information see https://basc.org.uk/gl/
  11. From 7th October onwards you can continue to shoot wood pigeon and feral pigeon under relevant general licences as long as its not inside certain protected areas or within 300m of the boundary of those areas. All the key information and preview copies of the new general licences are available on BASC website here: https://basc.org.uk/gl/wales/ There are no changes for shooting wildfowl.
  12. Natural Resources Wales will publish three new general licences for the shooting and trapping of pest birds on Monday 7 October 2019. Once these new general licences go live the existing general licences GL001, GL002 and GL004 will no longer be valid. If you intend shooting or trapping pest birds under general licence on or after Monday 7 October it is vital that you have read and understood the new general licences. Click the link below for more information and to download advance copies of what will be in the new general licences. https://basc.org.uk/gl/wales/
  13. There is a real danger of 'survey fatigue' right now and as a result some of us may miss opportunities to do our bit before it is too late. If anyone has yet to respond to the Home Office firearms licensing consultation please click the link below and respond by Tuesday 17 Sept. The outcome will impact on all of us shooting in England, Wales and Scotland and time is running out to have your say. https://basc.org.uk/firearmsconsultation/ For anyone shooting or trapping pest birds in Scotland a survey ends on 9 October. Click the following link to take part https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/2019GL/ Turning to the 12 weeks Defra general licences survey that launched yesterday, the survey link is here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-management/wild-birds-general-licence-survey/ BASC reviewed the Defra survey and some initial advice we published is as follows: The survey will take around 30 minutes to complete and is not a quick 'tick box' exercise. Some advice on completing the survey is as follows: 1. Download a copy of all the survey questions before you complete the online survey. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-management/wild-birds-general-licence-survey/supporting_documents/wildbirdsgenerallicencesurveydocument1.pdf 2. At the start of the survey you will be asked for your name and email address, general questions on how you use general licences and which organisations you are a member of. 3. In sections A to C there are questions asking you to choose bird species that you think should continue to be included on general licences and up to five bird species that you think should be added to general licences. Your answers to these questions will only be registered if you include reasons to support each of your answers. BASC recommend that you use your own field observations and experience as reasons to support your answers. Practitioner evidence during the review is going to be very important to cover areas where scientific evidence might be limited. You do not have to answer all the questions. 4. We recommend that you only answer the questions where you feel you can provide a valid reason to back up your answer. Remember, just ticking lots of boxes with no reasons given is pointless as your answers will not be registered. 5. In section D there are questions asking for your views and experience about non-lethal methods of managing bird species on general licences. 6. In section E there are questions about what kinds of records you keep and how long it takes you to make these records. 7. In Section F there are questions inviting any wider views on general licences. Click the link below for more info on the survey and latest info on general licences in England. https://basc.org.uk/gl/england/
  14. Is there a way out of the current firearms licensing quagmire? A BASC blog post published today explores some of the issues: https://basc.org.uk/blog/offbeat/whats-the-problem-with-firearms-licensing/ This and a series of other articles has gone out in today’s weekly email to all members and subscribers. To sign up for BASC email newsletters see here: https://basc.org.uk/basc-live/
  15. For anyone that has not read the proposals or BASC's response or taken a few minutes to email the Home Office their view here are a few key points. If the government approves these proposals this could result in: a potential loss of tens of thousands of firearms owners over the next 5 years with serious knock-on impacts on businesses the creation of a multi-million pound medical record checks industry funded by the shooting community with no benefit to that community or to public safety mandatory GP involvement in firearms licensing being rolled out nationwide with no safeguards in place to protect applicants from GPs refusing to take part or charging extortionate fees police interviewing applicants’ neighbours on their suitability to own guns thereby putting certificate holders at risk police seeking credit or other financial tests on applicants and considering debt as a factor in decision making. The Home Office proposals are neither evidence-lead nor fit for purpose. The proposals will encourage police forces in England, Wales and Scotland to continue to make up their own rules and this will be largely to the disadvantage of firearm owners. Existing and prospective firearms owners will be treated poorly and will be regarded as people who may be dealt with in any way that the police or doctors wish. Please email firearmsconsultations@homeoffice.gov.uk with your views! For more information visit: https://basc.org.uk/firearmsconsultation/
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