Irish U-turn on pigeonshooting ban

Ireland has reversed changes to the longstanding derogation on Pigeon shooting. This gives back permission to tillage farmers and cereal growers to protect their crops from pigeon damage.

Earlier in May 2020, Ireland banned pigeonshooting from 31 May to 1 September. Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht  Josepha Madigan ordered the end of summer pigeon shooting throughout the country.

At the time, the Irish countryside reacted with horror. The National Parks and Wildlife Services drew some of the poison from Madigan’s order. It announced that the derogation, due to come into effect on 31 May, will not be in place in 2020.  

The National Association of Regional Game Councils was shocked. In a statement on Facebook, it says that Madigan has, ‘removed from the tillage farmer the most effective form of crop protection from wood pigeon damage’.

Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, also criticised Madigan for failing to consult with those affected. He says: “Farmers and game clubs are vital stakeholders in wildlife preservation. It is not acceptable that decisions that could have enormous implications for farming and for food supplies is made without any engagement with those stakeholders. Minister Madigan must resolve this matter immediately.”

The NARGC releases a statement to say: ‘Common sense has won the day.’

It adds: The NARGC enjoys a close relationship with Irish Farmers and their representative organisations. This came to the fore in the campaign to restore crop protection in the summer months of June, July and August.

‘We are grateful for the support we received from many TDs, elected representatives, fellow shooting organisations and especially our members nationwide who actively lobbied to have the ban lifted.’

Letter from NARGC vice chairman Michael Fenlon to Madigan

Madigan is the Irish politician who banned Irish coursing after hearing about the threat of rabbit haemorrhagic disease.

Thanks to Joe Farrelly for the original story and Stephen Dunbar for the update.

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