Conservatives Against Fox Hunting’s Blue Hare campaign would like to clarify our position on the new code for management of hares as drawn up by the British Association of Shooting & Conservation- BASC in March 2013. We have strong objections to the code. We consider it is completely inappropriate that the code has been drawn up by shooting, farming and landowning organisations with a vested interest in continuing to shoot tens of thousands of hares a year with little restrictions. We will continue to campaign for a statutory close season for hares legislation which we initiated in 2011.
BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF SHOOTING & CONSERVATION : CODE OF PRACTICE BROWN HARE MANAGEMENT
Conservatives Against Fox Hunting’s Blue Hare campaign works with a number of animal welfare campaigning organisations for a close season for hares and have strong objections to the new code of practice for brown hares. These organisations include Humane Society International UK, Care For the Wild International and The Hare Preservation Trust
As leading animal welfare and wildlife protection organisations that have been campaigning for greater protection of hares in England for a number of years, we have recently seen the code of practice for brown hare management from the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC).
We understand this document has been drawn up by BASC working with farming, game and wildlife shooting organisations.
We would like to register our strong objections to the code for the following reasons
We consider it completely inappropriate that a draft code of practice to protect hares in England is being drawn up by shooting, farming and landowning organisations with a vested interest in continuing to shoot tens of thousands of hares a year with little restrictions
The code makes no mention of a closed season for shooting hares and does not even meet the current recommendations for hare protection set out many years ago by both Natural England and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (formerly the Game Conservancy Trust)
The code would allow the shooting of hares during February, despite the fact that the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust clearly indicates that shooting during this period can remove up to 60% of breeding hares
In view of our serious concerns on this draft document, we believe that the time has now come for DEFRA to take control of this process by giving Natural England the responsibility of drawing up a draft voluntary code for a closed season for hare shooting in England, working closely not only with shooting, farming and landowning organisations, but also with all key animal welfare and wildlife protection organisations in the UK until a statuary close season for hares is introduced.
Please visit our sister website for a close season for hares protection campaign www.bluehare.org.uk