The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has decided that a temporary closure of the hunting season for wild birds will start on Wednesday 8th December 2010 due to the severe recent and continuing freezing weather conditions across the State.
The Department consulted with the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC), other representative hunting organisations, farming organisations and Birdwatch Ireland, all of whom support the initiation of a temporary hunting ban.
The temporary closure is to protect wild ducks, geese and waders and other wild game birds during this cold weather. The National Parks and Wildlife Service urges all hunters to respect this measure which clearly has a conservation benefit for the long-term populations of these wild game species.
The species concerned are Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Snipe, Jack Snipe, Red-legged Partridge, Cock Pheasant, Woodcock, Woodpigeon, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose and Ruddy Duck.
This temporary closure of the hunting season will allow for the hunting of pen-reared birds, but this will require a licence.