Opinion Former Article

BASC helps game dealers during avian flu outbreak

BASC has been working with Defra and two key game dealers within the avian flu restricted zone to bring about the introduction of a general licence for the movement of dead game.

This licence allows the movement of birds shot outside the zones, which have been moved into the zones for processing, back into an unrestricted area. The provision of this licence now facilitates the export of birds originating outside the zones but processed within.

BASC's work with Defra on the production of this licence will now relieve some of the pressure on game dealers in the zones and allow the continuation of shooting within the zones.

Hedley Bambridge, a company director of the family run CH & EI Bambridge & Sons, one of the largest game dealers within the restricted zones and a BASC member said: "The help and information I have had from BASC has been excellent. The total ban on the movement of wild game birds, for my business had started to become a real problem and I was facing the very real situation of having to stop taking birds from shoots. The fact that BASC have been able to work with Defra and get this general licence, for the movement of birds we have processed from outside the restricted zone is great news. It enables my business to continue and take birds from my suppliers."

Tom Blades, Gamekeeping and Game Shooting Officer, said: "BASC and its members have been working with Defra on the surveillance of AI since the first outbreaks. BASC has sought to overcome any possible restrictions to its members; this includes those created indirectly, such as the restrictions on the movements of dead game. We see this new General Licence as a real step in the right direction for the movement of dead game"

Defra has confirmed that currently, all wild game meat (game birds) originating within the three zones cannot leave the restricted zone (RZ). Therefore, birds in the feather and derived produce, cooked game meat, cooked and frozen game meat and frozen game meat is prohibited from leaving the RZ. Free movement within the zones of all the produce already listed is unrestricted.

Shoots must be aware that the practice of giving away game to Guns, beaters and other helpers is controlled by the movement restrictions issued by Defra, so movement of shot game to outside the Restricted Zone cannot take place. This also applies to birds shot for private consumption by wildfowlers or rough shooters.

BASC continues to consult with Defra on a further general licence to allow the free movement of dead wild game birds shot within the zones to the unrestricted areas.

ENDS

For more information please contact the BASC press office on 01244 573031

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