Our new petition – thank you for such great support

On Tuesday morning we launched our newest petition, to the Westminster government, asking for a shortening of the Woodcock shooting season. By Tuesday bedtime the petition had far surpassed the 10,000 signatures needed to trigger a response from the Westminster government. We’re keen to see what our environment department, responsible for wildlife conservation, says about our very modest, cost-free and science-led proposal. We wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on 21 March on this subject and they have both been dragging their heels so this petition is a sharp nudge in the ribs to make them address this need.

Even the pro-shooting Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust favour a delay in shooting but their rather quiet pleas to shooters have not been heeded, and now, it seems that GWCT is resiling on their advice for non-scientific reasons – their position is comical.

This is a UK issue and is highly appropriate for a UK petition. Our letter was copied to the politicians in Wales and Scotland with responsibility for these issues and for there to be progress in Britain we assume that discussions would need to take place between Westminster, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

We’ve been asked why we aren’t asking for an outright ban of shooting – this Twitter thread is relevant to that question – click here.

Seven weeks today, on 1 September, the Woodcock shooting season will open in Scotland, and a month later in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Whereas the best scientific advice is for shooting not to start until 1 December. This can be remedied very easily, just about at the stroke of a pen if politicians act. We want them to act.

And so do you, as the reception to our petition shows. 648 out of 650 UK parliamentary constituencies have contributed signatures to this petition (only West Tyrone and Birmingham Ladywood are missing) and here are the current leading constituencies:

  1. North Norfolk (Con) 79 signatures
  2. Sheffield Hallam (Lab) 76 signatures
  3. Thirsk and Moulton (Con) 76 signatures
  4. Somerton and Frome (Independent) 75 signatures
  5. Dumfries and Galloway (Con) 72 signatures
  6. Derbyshire Dales (Con) 71 signatures
  7. Suffolk Coastal (Con) 71 signatures
  8. South Norfolk (Con) 66 signatures
  9. Westmorland and Lonsdale (LibDem) 65 signatures
  10. Stroud (Con) 65 signatures