The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association rejects a report compiled by the NPWS and others proposing changes to night time shooting, believing the changes to be unenforceable & unreasonable. Reducing the number of law abiding night shooters by imposition of onerous regulations, leaves an opening for criminal activity at night to flourish.
The impracticality of the proposals that No Hunting / Shooting to take place between 12.00 midnight – 6.00 am, from 1st September to 31st March is totally unreasonable and that hunters and shooters should inform the local Garda station or nearest 24 hour station in the Garda District, prior to commencement of shooting during hours of darkness.
Already there are well established health & safety norms in firearms handling such as the Ten Commandments of Gun Safety. It is unreasonable to curfew firearm license holders and direct them to contact possibly dozens of land owners each night in areas of fragmented holdings.
INHFA has identified many benefits of night time shooting to our members:
• Is an effective & humane method of controlling the fox population
• Increases the number of lambs weaned
• Has a positive impact on the environment, particularly ground nesting birds
• Reduces stress on animals & people by preventing predatory attacks
• Reduces farmers workload if carried out by a person they have approved of and also the age profile of farmers in those areas means that they cannot protect their livestock from vermin at night without the help of the local Gun Club.
The INHFA as a farming organisation representing thousands of farmers farming areas with a very high vermin head count hopes that sense will prevail; and the changes will not be implemented.