Code For Good Shooting Practice

Game shooting is widely recognised as a major factor in conservation and it is crucial that this image should not be tarnished by bad or poor practice. The Code of Good Shooting Practice, first produced in 1989, was thoroughly revised in 2017 and is endorsed by BASC, the GWCT, the Countryside Alliance, the NGO, and the Game Farmers’ Association CLA, Moorland Association, National Game Dealers’ Association, National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, Scottish Association for Country Sports, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association Scottish Land and Estates. The code embodies the spirit of sportsmanship, a fundamental respect for the quarry species and care for the environment

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The following Five Golden Rules apply:
1. 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. 

2. Shoot managers must endeavour to enhance wildlife conservation and the countryside.

3. 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.

4. If birds are released, shoots must take steps to comply with the relevant sections set out in this Code.

5. Birds must never be released to replenish or replace any birds already released and shot in that season.

In Britain we are rightly proud of our shooting sports. Game management and conservation help shape and enhance our landscape. Wildlife thrives where land is managed for shooting. Over a million people are involved in shooting; many more enjoy the end product as consumers of pheasants, partridges and other game. Moreover, shooting makes a substantial contribution to the rural economy – often at times and in places where other income is scarce. Shooting is worth £2 billion to the UK annually.

But shooting has its opponents; the good name of shooting – and the ability of our organisations to defend it – depends on everyone involved following this Code. Whatever your role within shooting, you should always be ‘Code-aware’ and raise awareness of this Code in others. Use this Code as your yardstick when deciding if you should accept an invitation or what shooting to buy. Check if shoots you are involved with, whether as a Gun, a beater or a picker-up, are Code compliant. If not, go elsewhere.

This Code applies to all game shooting – walked up, driven, wild bird or reared. Provided it is carried out following the advice set out in this Code, the release of reared birds is an entirely valid method of increasing or sustaining a stock of wild game: indeed, it is fundamental to British game shooting and its attendant conservation benefits.

We must never be complacent about the future of shooting. Shooting and shoot management practices will be judged by the way participants and providers behave. Our sport is under
increasing and detailed scrutiny and we must demonstrate that we conduct it to high standards. The Code of Good Shooting Practice brings those standards together and makes them
easily available to all participants. It embodies fundamental respect for the quarry species, and care for the environment. This Code sets out the framework that enables shoot
managers, Guns, gamekeepers and their employees to deliver sustainable shooting, paying attention to the management of habitat and avoiding nuisance to others. All who shoot, or are involved in shooting in any way, should abide by and remind others of the provisions set out within this Code.

The Code is covered in ten sections click on the download on the right to read the full code.