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Hunting Laws UK

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by discoveringtheforest, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. discoveringtheforest

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    This is something ive always been abit unsure of and hope maybe some of you chaps can answer this.

    Is it totally illegal to hunt in the uk,lets just say I was out in the bush and came accross some wild rabbit,killed and ate it?

    Sorry if this seems like a dump question,im just interested,thanks in advance.
     
  2. FGYT

    FGYT Maker

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    Its illegal to hunt on land you Havent got permission on

    Oh and UK the 4 separate bits have differing laws of some stuff :rolleyes:

    If you have permission and legally have the correct Kit ie FAC if your using a Fire arm ( i think NI requires a FAC for normal Airgun which we dont in England Scotland and Wales )

    and in UK we dont really have a place called 'Bush'
    but if you mean large open areas like the New Forest or Dartmoor or the Scotish Highlands etc then no generally your not allowed to take rabbit (ther will be peopel who can approved by the owners for managment and pest control etc)


    ATB

    Duncan
     
  3. discoveringtheforest

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  4. Bimble

    Bimble Forager

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    It is illegal to hunt with a bow in the uk........
    It’s been that way for centuries to stop poaching.
    That said, my dog catches rabbits for me, and even the odd squirrel occasionally when out. He kind of got wise to the fact that I'd cook it for him if he did, so he goes ape every time he sees something furry.
    I thinks it’s now illegal to hunt with dogs as well, but no one has told him that, and to be frank, I don’t think he cares.
    It's illegal to do lots of stuff, but hell that’s what politicians do to justify their existence.
    Ponder this though; as long as you do no harm is it a crime.....? By that I mean if you can live with no guilt!
    Subversive stuff!!!, big brother is watching you.

    "The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."
    - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1
     
  5. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Are you sure?

    Centuries?
     
  6. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    You can shoot.

    Magpies
    Crows and Rooks
    Jays
    Grey Squirrels
    Brown Rats
    Woodpigeons
    Feral Pigeons
    Collared Doves
    Rabbits
    Starlings
    Sparrows
    Mink

    But only with permission from the land owner as has already been said. Your rifle must be under 12ft/lbs without an FAC.

    If the police catch you without permission you will be charged with armed tresspass, have your rifle taken away and wind up in court.You may also be banned from owning any firearm/airgun for 5 years.
     
  7. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    Here are some old laws which are actually still in place with regards to bows

    In England, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

    In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

    Not sure how long it has been illegal to hunt with bows but it is a long time.Can't for the life of me find out exactly how long though.
     
  8. spoony

    spoony Need to contact Admin...

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    thought starlings were off the list
     
  9. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    After a quick check with BASC i find you are indeed correct. My apologies.

    Here is the current list

    BIRDS: (covered by the open general licences) crows, rooks, jackdaws, magpies, jays, woodpigeon, collared doves, feral pigeons.

    MAMMALS: brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits
     
  10. Nagual

    Nagual Native

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  11. Doc

    Doc Need to contact Admin...

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    It was banned in 1981 when the Wildlife and Countryside Act came in.
     
  12. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    DEFRA have the definitive list but i can't find it on their site.The search doesn't turn up much.
     
  13. Nagual

    Nagual Native

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    Yeah, the DEFRA site isn't exactly the easiest to search. I've tried to find anything about starlings, but all there seems to be is studies done to examine their decline. Section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 listed at the link I gave earlier seems up to date, from my searches online I can only find references to how the Open General Licence is given or granted e.g. all non lethal alternatives must have been ruled out.

    I'm at a loss, I'm sure I found the list before but that may have been in the above link. :bluThinki I'm sure someone, somewhere will figure it out with the right links. :D


    Nag.
     
  14. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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  15. tenderfoot

    tenderfoot Nomad

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    I think there was recent (last 2 years legislation) european ban on shooting magpies. Common here but in decline in europe. Also sparrow population uk is in decline so expect ban soon if not already.
     
  16. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    sparrows are off the list
     
  17. Ogri the trog

    Mod

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    I'll bow to previous posters who have done thier research, but from memory;
    Rabbits enjoy the unique position of being both game and vermin at the same time.
    This means that whenever they are destroyed, the manner in which it is done is controlled by law, ie types of weapon, permissions etc.
    But there is also a mandate on the landowner to control the numbers of rabbits on his land either himself or by nominating a contoller.
    Thus if you were to take a rabbit, it would have to comply with several avenues of law.
    And all this before finding out if the meat is fit for consumption and not diseased in any way.

    If it is something that you really want to explore, you'll have to do your homework in terms of finding the landowner and seeking his permission, then find someone who is willing to have you tag along on their pest-control event.

    ATB

    Ogri the trog
     
  18. Minotaur

    Minotaur Native

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    Ref the old laws.

    I belive they were taken off the books a while ago. They missed the trial by combat one, but all the bow ones went, I think.

    Poaching is a weird one. As far as I am aware, until about 200 hundred years ago the only land you could poach on was Royal land. It was the argicutral revoltion that changed all that, and the current view of poaching started.

    As for public owned land, think the problem would be the public bit. It is actual a good question, because what about common land? Which you are allowed to hunt on, if you are a commoner, but think the public bit would get in your way again.

    How you hunt is another problem? Hunting with dogs is not illegal. Killing with dogs is. Your dog killing the odd bunny will not get you in trouble but do it a lot, and you could be in trouble. It is one of the reasons the current law is unworkable. If you use a firearm of any description, you have all sorts of laws on carrying them etc to guard for.

    The only practical way to look at the law, is that unless you are performing some form of pest control for the land owner, it is illegal. So I would say you are right, hunting in the UK is banned. What is allowed is pest control, which is a legal requirement for land owners. Also looking at some of the information provided, to my knowledge, the only things you are allowed to shoot, are rabbits, minks, grey squirrels, rats, and the pigeon family. The DEFRA information is about a general hunting licease, which seems to be area specfic, and for pest control again.
     
  19. Bimble

    Bimble Forager

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    Doc, thanks for the clarification. It would appear that you are correct and this is the current law.

    I just remembered my old history lessons and did some digging, below is an excerpt from an article by Mark Tustain on the 'companions of the longbow website'.
    These laws were invoked by the Normans just after 1066, and due to our constitution have never been revoked.... It would appear the modern laws of this country don't seem to have got anymore fair for us peasants!:dunno:

    It appears I'll have to mutilate the dog or get another one and some string....:eek:

    http://www.companionsofthelongbow.co.uk/index_files/Page33906.htm

    These restrictions, designed solely to preserve the venison and vert of the forest, were many (the word “venison” comes from the Latin word for hunting and originally covered all game animals). These included requirements for the passage of bows, arrows and hunting dogs that were not part of an official hunt. For example anyone passing through a forest was required to carry their bow with their arrows bound to the limbs with the bowstring. Any hunting dogs, such as brachets and gazehounds (more on the types of dogs later) were to be tied together in twos. If you owned a mastiff for use as a guard dog there was the requirement for your dog to be “lawed”, that is to have the 3 claws on it’s forepaws cut off. If a dead or wounded deer was found with an arrow the arrow was sent to the forest verderer and enrolled as evidence (more on verderers later too).

    The penalties for breaking the forest laws started as quite severe – death or mutilation. For example, under William I you could have an eye put out just for disturbing the deer. Later these punishments were relaxed to fines or imprisonment and it’s probably of no surprise to learn that it was found to be quite profitable for the crown to grant certain rights and privileges inside the forest in return for cash. The King’s army could also gain by granting pardons in return for military service
    .
     
  20. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    To understand that law you need to understand the word forest as meaning "a private hunting preserve" as opposed to " a woodland". Shooting your bow in a forest would be the modern equivalent of stealing bred pheasants from a driven shoot. "Forest" is not a word that equates to "any old big bit of woodland". There is a huge difference between a law that says "do not poach in a private hunting ground" and "never use a bow to hunt"

    Red
     

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