The Code of Good Shooting Practice – why you should read it again | Shooting UK

If you’re a responsible shooter, then you need to know the standards the shooting code sets …

The Code of Good Shooting Practice — a summary

  • Shooting behaviour: individuals must observe safety, the law and respect for quarry and other wildlife.
  • Responsible shooting: Guns must shoot within their capabilities; shoots must ensure all shot game 
is retrieved and that shooting stops in severe weather.
  • Consideration for others: taking account of local residents and other land users; following the law and best practice when shooting near rights 
of way, walkers or horses.
  • Game is food: shoots must ensure that all shot game is handled as meat for the food chain.
  • Shoot management: shoots must be managed to maximise the conservation benefits of shooting.
  • Rearing game: game husbandry must be undertaken with all due consideration to health and welfare, and those sourcing birds must be mindful of exactly where their stock comes from.
  • Releasing game: birds should be released before the season, following GWCT sustainable releasing guidelines, and not shot until they are mature and adapted to the wild.
  • Predator and pest control: all legal requirements must be followed, with consideration given to local residents and other land users.
  • Legal requirements: 
The laws that a shoot manager and game Shot must follow are enumerated and briefly explained.

There can be no doubt that the shooting sector needs such a code, so does the Code of Good Shooting Practice provide it?

It is certainly a comprehensive document, drawing on the expertise of all shooting’s representative bodies from across the UK and from game farmers to game dealers.

Almost everyone in the shooting sector who reads it agrees these standards are right.

The five golden rules of the shooting code

  • The safe conduct of shooting must meet the standards described in this code, show respect for the countryside, due regard to health and safety and consideration for others.
  • Shoot managers must endeavour to enhance 
wildlife conservation and 
the countryside.
  • Respect for quarry is paramount. It is fundamental to mark and retrieve all shot game, which is food, and it must be treated in accordance with the Guide to Good Game Handling.
  • If birds are released, shoots must take steps to comply with the relevant sections set out 
in this code.
  • Birds must never be released 
to replenish or replace any birds already released and shot in 
that season.

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