Minister Humphreys announces ban on the sale of woodcock
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Friday) announced a ban on the sale of woodcock, effective from 1st November 2015. The move is aimed at addressing the falling number of the bird species here.
There is a large winter influx of woodcock to Ireland. The Minister has decided to introduce the ban, following consultation with relevant stakeholders, in order to reduce shooting pressure on the species. The ban is effective from November 1st, which is the start date for the hunting season for woodcock which extends until 31st January 2016.
Speaking this evening Minister Humphreys said:
“Concerns have been expressed by both hunting groups and conservation bodies that the extent of shooting is threatening the woodcock population. It is thought the increase in the shooting of woodcock may be due to the overseas market for the species.
“My Department will monitor the impact of the ban during the hunting season and I will consider additional protection measures, if required. Any further changes will only be implemented in consultation with the relevant hunting and conservation organisations.
“A number of hunting and conservation groups are supportive of the ban, including the National Woodcock Association of Ireland, the Association of Game Shot Operators, the National Association of Regional Game Councils and BirdWatch Ireland.”