No shooting or hunting of wildfowl including birds such as pheasants, snipe, and wood pigeon is to be carried out before Tuesday December 21 next at least, by order of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
The Department has extended the temporary closing of the hunting season for wild birds due to the recent freezing conditions across the State and has also requested ongoing voluntary suspension of deer culling.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service is now urging all hunters to respect the measure which has a conservation benefit for the long-term populations of wild game species.
“Many Wild Deer Association of Ireland members and supporters are also bird hunters and we ask them to continue to respect this temporary closure, along with the continued voluntary suspension of deer culling where snow is present on high ground. Despite recent claims of excessive deer numbers there is now growing evidence deer are under serious threat in many areas due to the severe weather conditions over the previous 12 months and more significantly the current poaching epidemic which is been fuelled by the economic downturn and high venison prices,” according to the Department.
The species on the banned list are mallard, teal, gadwall, wigeon, pintail, shoveler, scaup, tufted duck, pochard, goldeneye, golden plover, snipe, jack snipe, red-legged partridge, cock pheasant, woodcock, woodpigeon, Canada goose, greylag goose, and ruddy duck. It does not affect shooting of pen-reared birds where a licence to do so has been issued under Section 22(9 )(b ) of the Wildlife Acts. Applicants for such a licence are advised to immediately contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Main Street, Ballybay, Co Monaghan, phone (042 ) 9748712.