Con­fu­sion in the law

Air Gunner - - Your Letters -

In your Oc­to­ber is­sue you state that if a mag­pie is just a nui­sance or you don’t like them, you can’t legally shoot them. You also say that you must try to scare them away be­fore try­ing to shoot. My rea­son for send­ing this let­ter is be­cause in the Jan­uary and March is­sues you kept go­ing on about shoot­ing ‘branch­ers’ (young rooks). At no point did you say that you must try to scare them away. If this is the norm, are we all break­ing the law? Mr York

Hello This is a point well made and high­lights a grey area of the law. Farm­ers use many tac­tics to scare rooks away from their crops, such as us­ing bangers, gas guns and kites that look like birds of prey, but their num­bers can still be so high as to cause large fi­nan­cial losses. In that sit­u­a­tion, culling young­sters be­fore they get the chance to grow large enough cause dam­age is eth­i­cal and le­gal. Ed.

When the rooks ar­rive in these num­bers, the farmer needs to do what­ever he can to get rid of some

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