New regulations for autumn hunting season

Improvements in compliance achieved over the past three years have produced extremely visible positive changes that were hardly conceivable in the past

As the autumn hunting season opens on Thursday, new regulations enacted earlier this year will see hunters having to report the birds caught via a telephone reporting system prior to leaving the hunting area.

This system replaced the Carnet de Chasse reporting and was explained in detail to all hunters in an information booklet distributed with all hunting licenses.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the parliamentary secretariat for agriculture, fisheries and animal rights said that the season for hunting birds on land will run between 1 September and 31 January, between two hours before sunrise and two hours after sunset from Monday to Saturday, and between two hours before sunrise and 1pm on Sundays and public holidays.

Hunting between 15 September and 7 October is not permitted between 7 pm and two hours before sunrise of the following day; the same time restrictions also apply to the hunting of wild rabbit, which is permitted until 31 December.

The hunting of birds at sea is permitted between the 1 October and 31 January during the same times as those applicable to hunting on land.

Hunters can only hunt the species for which they were licensed according to their license category.

As of this season, the hunting of red-breasted merganser will no longer be allowed, due to re-classification of the legal status of the species, while hunting of turtle doves will only be permitted between 1 and 30 September, limited to a maximum national quota of 7,000 birds.

As of this season, the hunting of red-breasted merganser will no longer be allowed
As of this season, the hunting of red-breasted merganser will no longer be allowed

The Wild Birds Regulation Unit noted with satisfaction that exemplary improvements in compliance achieved over the past three years had produced extremely visible positive changes that were hardly conceivable in the past.

“However this progress, which is a result of cooperation between the government, members of the hunting community, and bird protection NGOs, needs to be further maintained and consolidated,” it said.

The unit called on all hunters and hunting organisations to persist in their zero-tolerance approach to illegalities, and said it would continue to monitor and enforce compliance with applicable regulations through field surveillance, spot checks and inspections.

Anyone caught shooting or trapping protected species listed in Schedules I and IX of the Conservation of Wild Birds Regulations will automatically incur penalties, including a €5,000 fine, and / or imprisonment for one year, as well as permanent revocation or ban on obtaining a hunting or trapping license.

In case of second or subsequent offences, applicable penalties will go up to €10,000, confiscation of the firearm, and / or imprisonment for two years. 

Penalties for all other irregularities, including for non-declaration of bagged birds through telephone, will also apply.

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