Pigeon_836The Countryside Alliance has welcomed Natural England’s decisions, announced today, that the “shoo, don’t shoot” proposals to restrict pigeon shooting, consulted on earlier this year, will not proceed. The open consultation on proposed changes to the General Licences ended in May this year. The suggestion in the consultation was that anyone using the licence should be able to show that they had tried non-lethal methods of control such as scaring before resorting to the gun. The Countryside Alliance was active against this proposal when it was first proposed in 2005 and was similarly active and vocal this time.  The consultation provoked a phenomenal response from Countryside Alliance supporters. However, there are a number of areas where Natural England have not taken a final decision, particularly with regard to the use of traps, and we hope that Natural England will apply to these outstanding issues the same evidence based, common sense approach that appears to have prevailed so far. Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner commented: “The proposal that people should have to scare pigeons before shooting them was always complete nonsense, so we welcome the fact that Natural England has largely listened to the concerns and experience of those who manage the countryside. General Licences are there to enable necessary management and it is vital that Natural England continues to listen to those responsible for that management.” Natural England’s response can be viewed here http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2014/160914.aspx