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Thread: Garden Shooting

  1. #1
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    Garden Shooting

    Can anyone tell me if it is legal to shoot Pigeons and Squirrels (of the grey type only) in your own back garden? I live in a house with quite a large rear garden and we are plagued with Pigeons and Squirrels, I intend to use a PCP .22 air rifle on them making sure, of course, that there is always a decent backstop behind the target, that none of the pellets would ever stray into any of the neighbours gardens and that all shots would be 100% safe before even comptenplating taking it.

  2. #2
    Veteran ROBERT6500's Avatar
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    Re: Garden Shooting

    Stick to what you have written here and its ok.
    You may want to tell the neighbours what you are doing but thats up to you.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Garden Shooting

    Yep, the key as far as the law is concerned is that no pellet crosses your boundary.

    Do it safely as you suggest and it should be fine, nieghbours aside.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Garden Shooting

    Thanks guys, thought it would be OK but just wanted to see what everyone else thought. Our local squirrels have been having a field day around our house, even had them in our loft but no more, holes are now blocked and 3 of the tree rats bit the dust this morning already and the rest will shortly follow even though I know it will be a long term task. As for the neighbours, on the one side we have got an elderly couple but she did offer to buy me a shotgun to shoot the little buggers but I don't think our local police would be too happy at that but I'm sure they won't have a problem with shooting them. Other side is an older family that doesn't really talk to us and keep themselves to themselves, if I get a chance I will talk to them but we don't see them that often. So Squirrel beware, your days are numbered around here!

  5. #5
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    Re: Garden Shooting

    Dont forget that squirrel is decent eating, the hind legs are the best bit.

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  6. #6

    Re: Garden Shooting

    Er, I've got to step in here, because everyone here has it half right.

    as far as the law states, you can legally shoot any pest animal, if you've got good reason to do so.

    Now, this is where you'll fall into a blackspot, you'll been fine shooting any mammals (Squirrels because of reds, the damage the do to trees, ect)

    but, like all Birds in the UK, pidgeons are protected, if you've got pidgeons that are in your garden, and not doing any damage, and posing no real health risk to anyone, it will be illegal to shoot them.

    Claiming to shoot a wild animal, pest or not, for food is not legal either. (hence the big debate over pidgeon shooting a few decades back)

  7. #7
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    Re: Garden Shooting

    Thanks for that Bleeh, did wonder that why i originally posted - as a keen gardener and a grow your own-er do you think i could legally shoot the pigeons for my crop protection (wouldn't dream of mentioning how good they taste) or does crop protection only apply to the farming community?

  8. #8

    Re: Garden Shooting

    Okay, as far as I'm aware, and off the top of my head, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 pretty much states this (on lawful killing of birds)...

    ''Part 1,-4: 3b: preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs, for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, or fisheries'' (Link) http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3614

    So, there you have it, it's pretty vague.

    It's also worth noting that somewhere in that bundle of laws it states you should only use the killing on birds as a last alturntive to non-lethal methods. (such as putting shiny discs up to scare them, or something).

    So, as far as I'm aware, I'm almost sure it's not legal in your case.

  9. #9
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    Re: Garden Shooting

    Thanks for that, oh well I suppose I will have to restrict my pigeon shooting to out in the fields with my shotgun. Still at least the squirrels days are legally numbered!

  10. #10

    Re: Garden Shooting

    You can still get done for cruelty if you cause unnecessary suffering. Combination of air rifle and squirrel means its hard to guarantee outright kill.

    Best done early morning when less eyes are about. A friend of mine had police round a couple of years ago for shooting squirrels and they were very hostile although they couldn't actually pin him down to any offence they warned him he could be prosecuted under the Public Order Act which is a catch all.

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