‘Night time shooting changes are unreasonable’

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has rejected a report, carried out by NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) and others, which proposes changes to night time shooting. The organisation has described the changes as “unenforceable” and “unreasonable”.

According to a statement released by the INHFA, with the reduction of “law-abiding night shooters”, such measures would allow a chance for night time criminal activity to increase.

The association elaborated, noting that the “impractical” nature of the proposals in the report – which calls for a ban on hunting and shooting between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00am from September 1 to March 31 – are “totally unreasonable”.

The farmers’ group also took exception to the proposed idea that farmers should inform their local Garda station or their closest 24-hour Garda station, prior to any shooting during hours of darkness.

In its statement, the INHFA believes the current regulations to be sufficient. It said: “Already there are well-established health and 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.

The organisation also listed out various benefits of night-time shooting, including a positive impact on the environment – particularly for ground-nesting birds, a humane and effective way to control the fox population, a reduction in stress for both people and animals through reduced and prevented predator attacks, and an increase in the number of lambs weaned.

The group also cited a reduced workload for farmers who get help from their local gun club or from an approved hunter as an advantage.

Concluding, the INHFA highlighted the fact that it represents thousands of farmers that are plagued with high levels of vermin, and hopes that the proposed changes will not be implemented, and that “sense would prevail” on the matter.