Please DO ShootThe Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association(INHFA) have recently rejected a report compiled by the NPWS and others which proposed changes to night time shooting laws. The did this as they believe the changes to be unenforceable and unreasonable.
They say that by reducing the number of law abiding night shooters by imposition of onerous regulations, it leaves an opening for criminal activity at night. This at a time when farm burglaries are at an all-time high.
The group say that it is impractical to propose that no hunting should take place between 12.a.m. to 6a.m from September 1st to March 31st. They also say it is unreasonable for hunters to have to inform Gardaí officials prior to the commencement of any hunting after dark.
The group said there are already well-established health and safety norms in fire handling, and pointed to the ’Ten Commandments of Gun Safety’ as a prime example. They also suggest it is unreasonable to put a curfew on licensed firearm holders. They group followed by stating that hunters having to contact landowners each night they are out, which would mean numerous landowners, is very unfair.
In backing their argument, the group identified some of the benefits to night time shooting, especially for its members in particular. They say it is an effective method of controlling fox numbers, increases the number of lambs weaned, has a positive impact on the environment and nesting birds especially, it reduces stress on animals and people by preventing predatory attacks, and reduces farmers workload if carried out by an approved person.
They say the age profile of its farmers in these areas means they cannot sufficiently protect their livestock from vermin at night, without the help of local gun clubs.
The INHFA hope that on the case of these proposed changes that ‘sense will prevail’, as they say the farmers they represent farm areas with high vermin counts.