The Legality of Bird Shooting Explained

If you run a commercial property or enterprise and have a problem with birds, you may be wondering if it is legal for us to simply turn up and use a firearm to get rid of them. This is not possible, and outright killing the birds is only very rarely legal.

In this blog, we will outline the precise legality when it comes to bird shooting and in what situations it is appropriate.

If you are dealing with a bird problem on your domestic or commercial property, give us a call now on 0800 808 5615.

British Wildlife Protection Laws

All birds are protected by strict wildlife laws within the United Kingdom. This means that the methods we can use to control bird populations are strictly regulated and simply killing them is prohibited outside of situations where health and safety risks are a real danger.

British Wildlife Protection Laws

With regards to pest species (game species follow different guidelines), there are a few main reasons as to why we are able to shoot them:

Disease: Birds carry a number of diseases and can spread them through many different means. If human health is endangered by a bird, then it is perfectly legal to take swift and decisive action to end this risk. This is especially true if they have settled in a food manufacturing facility.

Air Safety: Birds present a real danger for aeroplanes and helicopters. By making their way into the engine, or getting caught in a propeller, they can result in a crash. Shooting to prevent air accidents from taking place is permitted.

Agricultural Destruction: Birds can be legally shot if they present an immediate and serious danger to livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit, food for livestock, or any timber and farmed fish.

Legal Population Control Techniques

Firstly, we can use physical barriers which make your property difficult or impossible to roost and settle upon, such as spikes, netting, and wiring. This will help to make sure that birds do not settle upon your property as there are no suitable areas to do so, forcing them to move on.

Secondly, it is also possible to scare the birds into moving elsewhere. One option is to use a fake bird of prey, or item that resembles one. Upon seeing this the birds will be unnerved and flee. We can also utilise a real falcon or hawk to do the same job, much more effectively.

We are also able to employ a laser deterrent system which will aim a laser towards settling birds. Assuming this is a genuine physical threat, the birds will quickly take off. Although they will return, this process will only repeat a few times before they settle somewhere else permanently.

Lastly, we are able to tackle gull eggs directly. We can either replace them with plastic equivalents or use oil to sterilise the eggs. This not only calms the seagulls and encourages them to move on, but it also ends the population’s potential to expand.

Should You Use a Shotgun or Air Rifle for Pest Control?

There is an ongoing debate amongst pest controllers about which firearm is best for shooting birds. However, we think there is only one clear answer for any responsible and experienced company; an air rifle.

Should You Use a Shotgun or Air Rifle for Pest Control?

Shotguns used to be the tool of choice. They make it easy to hit the bird and will provide the instant ‘benefit’ of clearing any nearby birds off of the property. However, this is a misconception for two key reasons.

Firstly, while the birds are easy to hit with a shotgun, this is because the shells shoot a cloud of smaller scattered pellets. The bird is easer to hit, but so is everything else around it which can cause a health and safety hazard and potential property damage.

In addition, while the birds will be instantly scared off and have apparently fled the property, this is temporary. Eventually the pigeons will return to the property and settle back down. The problem has been postponed, not dealt with.

Air rifles are precise and discreet tools. Our technicians are well trained and a good aim. This means we can reliably predict where the single projectile is going to go, and we can hit multiple birds before they are aware of the danger.

As a result, we can put a serious dent in the population while making sure that everyone and everything else nearby remains safe from harm.

Get in Touch

If pest birds are causing issues on your property, give us a call today on 0800 808 5615.

Alternatively, complete our contact form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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