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General Licence is this the end for roost shooting?


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A friend of mine told me of a recent event in Lincolnshire where a guy was out roost shooting pigeon with the landowner’s permission.

Some antis turned up with the police and told him he was breaking the law as the birds he was shooting at were not in the process of doing crop damage. It also raises the question about shooting over not productive crops like cut maize or beans/peas left over from harvest.

Any thoughts on how we stand? The guy in question is going to be interviewed by the police.

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This confusion keeps coming up. The antis will frequently misinterpret the law and maliciously misuse / mislead police officers to their advantage. The majority of police officers understandably aren’t that familiar with the GLs - which adds to the confusion. 

It is perfectly permissible to disrupt / shoot pigeons in their habituated flight lines - as they feed and roost local to crop damage. Open their crops if there is any doubt. It has been well established (within the GL context) that pigeon control is an ‘area wide’ necessity. The wording in the GLs is suitably vague and all encompassing to allow for this. It would be a brave person who tried to charge someone for shooting pigeons on private land. It would be necessary to prove that the pigeons were NOT doing any local damage. 

I hope and trust that when the dust settles, and all is considered, that the antis are cautioned for aggravated trespass or even wasting police time. 

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I was told about this post on another website and had to come and look at the detail of the account. I had an inlcing there was more to it than 'a roost shooter was arrested'.... the antis caused the trouble and the Police are appeasing them on the ground so as to avoid any possible breach of the peace. I am sure sensibility will come through but I also sincerely hope the shooter does not, when he is interviewed, accept a caution - because that will go on his record and will affect any shotgun application/renewal. he must, under all circumstances, stand his ground that what he was doing was perfectly justified and legal. It is up to the Police / CPS to prove otherwise. There is no evidence that will stand up in court that can prove the pigeons were NOT causing crop damage.

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The General License permits activities that would otherwise be criminal offences under part one of the 1981 wildlife and countryside act. The maximum penalties are unlimited fine and a six month custodial sentence. The local police will have been told someone is killing protected birds and they will investigate, if the person killing them can show he is exempt from protection by using the relevant license he won’t be protected. 

 

Sorry should be, won’t be prosecuted. Big difference.

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If the guy out roost shooting had shot some pigeons, he could have opened up the crops of the birds and showed the cops what they had been eating and that would have showed them if the birds had been damaging crops and therefore he would be justified in shooting them.

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It always helps protect roost shooting under the GL if the local farmer will support your activity if challenged, by agreeing that these local pigeons are damaging his crops 

it is very difficult for an anti to prove otherwise!

I would not risk opening the birds as I have occasionally  shot birds at roost and found them empty 

and you only have to give a determined anti half a chance

DEL BOY DIXEY 

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The law is simple. You have to demonstrate none lethal alternatives of crop protection have failed. There is loads of evidence to support this and anyone who has ever tried to keep pigeons off rape will know this all too well.

Once this is demonstrated you can shoot the pigeons, and you do not have to be shooting them over the same field you are protecting. You can protect the crops by shooting them on the crops, on their way to the crops, returning from the crops, and even over stubbles to protect next years crops. 

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Hi Del Boy Dixey the farmer will give authority to kill pigeons that are doing serious damage to crops. It’s the shooter who has authority to decide how to use the licence. One area I shoot over hundreds of pigeons are feeding on ivy berries and roosting in nearby woods, more pigeons are feeding on ivy berries each year. I don’t shoot them or shoot them at roost as they are not damaging crops. I  shoot pigeons at roost , and when resting in the day, if they are damaging nearby crops l have authority to shoot over. The person who was shooting pigeons at roost will be asked if he has authority and to show why he killed the pigeons. If he paid to shoot the pigeons the person he paid will be questioned as well. If the person shooting the pigeons was using the licence correctly it shows that the license is working. If the licence was misused it shows the licence is working. This could be decided by the police and DEFRA. 
Hi zip dog yes l know what is like keeping pigeons off rape .yes the law is simple.

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I saw a bloke mention on fb. Say you shoot at 20 pigeons you kill half you have basically scared half away by non lethal means. Is that not good enough of non lethal means ?
My shooting gets about as non lethal as you can get. I thought he had a good point. You could argue you missed them on purpose I often make that claim lol

Edited by captainhastings
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2 hours ago, zipdog said:

The law is simple. You have to demonstrate none lethal alternatives of crop protection have failed. There is loads of evidence to support this and anyone who has ever tried to keep pigeons off rape will know this all too well.

Once this is demonstrated you can shoot the pigeons, and you do not have to be shooting them over the same field you are protecting. You can protect the crops by shooting them on the crops, on their way to the crops, returning from the crops, and even over stubbles to protect next years crops. 

Non lethals are not necessarily if impractical. The licence is riddled with contradictions and ‘get outs’. It is intentionally written that way to avoid legal challenge. Unless the roost shooter in question has been a naughty boy in other ways, as said above, he should stand his ground, he was absolutely legal and legitimate in his activities. If it is established that the antis disrupted his activities with aggravating behaviour, it is they who should be cautioned or prosecuted. 

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2 minutes ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, then why get the police involved ??

Why? Because they are antis and frequently try to use the police in a malicious and divisive way. The police are unlikely to be familiar with the intricacies of the GLs so they are now doing their homework and will conclude later. None of this means a crime has been committed. 

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Hi aggravated trespass is a serious offence and they can be arrested. The person involved in the incident can and should report it if it happened. I’m sure the police will have the names of all involved. The police won’t have much knowledge about the license, a lot of shooters had  never seen one before it was challenged. As Fellside pointed out the police will be doing their homework. Don’t underestimate (antis) there are some clever convincing people out there . I hope the person involved can sort it. It may well put them off going back to the place.

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21 minutes ago, Gas seal said:

Yes if it was Lord and Lady Somebody having a bash at pigeons in the woods and they were disturbed the offenders would be taken away in a 4x4 Black Maria before they got anywhere near the woods. 

And if the offenders were on your property you also would have them taken away.

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its stuff like this that just puts me off completley.  currently its unwinnable. at best all will be dropped and hes just lost a n evening roost shooting, at worst he can do time.

i cant grasp this at all and it blows my mind. How with the abundance of proof that animals on the GL can have a list of negatives impacts with few if any positives towards farming. Farming of some variety or another making up 70% of the land area of the UK. with the owners permission and/or request we manage said species of which solid date is avalible that the species managed are only in danger of over population and the negatives that that brings to them......... how are we still losing this one legally?. am i missing somthing?. other than "we dont think its very nice that you kill things" what is the anti hunting communitys argument, why cant we beat is with data and reason and why has this been going on so long?.

id honestly rather at this point we moved to an open and closed season for them. least then you have a defined set of rule.

 

 

 

 

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On 07/01/2022 at 10:34, zipdog said:

The law is simple. You have to demonstrate none lethal alternatives of crop protection have failed. There is loads of evidence to support this and anyone who has ever tried to keep pigeons off rape will know this all too well.

Once this is demonstrated you can shoot the pigeons, and you do not have to be shooting them over the same field you are protecting. You can protect the crops by shooting them on the crops, on their way to the crops, returning from the crops, and even over stubbles to protect next years crops. 

Simple enough 

you could also say you were doing on public health reasons 

a pigeon roosting wood is a fairly unhygienic place 

why should the landowner have to put up with it ?

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