Wildfowl shooting resumes after bad weather

Image caption The shooting ban been the longest ever imposed anywhere in Britain

A temporary ban on the shooting of ducks, geese and waders has ended after hunting was suspended during the recent bad weather.

The suspension, which prohibited the shooting of waterfowl, had been in force since 10 December.

The measure was brought in by the government to help the birds through the severe weather when their feeding patterns can be disrupted.

The suspension had been the longest ever imposed anywhere in Britain.

Dr Colin Shedden, director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Scotland, said: "We have gone through a prolonged period of severe weather where habitats have been affected by snow and ice.

"However, there has been an improvement recently and we are in agreement with the government and Scottish Natural Heritage that shooting can resume.

"We would urge people to be guided by local conditions on the ground before deciding to shoot.

"They should be aware of any signs that wildfowl, and particularly waders, including woodcock and snipe, are still under pressure from the weather especially where inland wetlands are still frozen.

"If they are then due respect and restraint should be shown for as long as necessary."

Cold weather suspensions of shooting are introduced according to an agreed system which takes into account the number of days frozen conditions are recorded at weather stations around the country.

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