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jediwarrior
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Number of posts : 30
Registration date : 2008-11-25

PostSubject: Working law   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:46 pm

Ferreting and the law


When working your ferrets there are a number of legal requirements that may help or hinder you. These will not only affect how your animals are kept but also how you treat the ferrets quarry.
These laws are there for everyone to see, but not enough actually learn them. This is a pity as they are useful if either anyone approaches you whilst ferreting or you want to finally convince that neighboring farmer to let you control the rabbits.
You will get not just respect but probably more permission if you show a professional attitude whilst going about your business.
Remember every time you go out it is the whole of country sports you are representing not just yourself!

Pest Act 1954

copyright Pakefield Ferrets
Rabbit Clearance Orders (Under Section 1)
Rabbit Clearance Order no 148 issued in 1972 made the whole of England and Wales a rabbit clearance area (excluding the city of London, the Isles of Scilly and Skokholm Island).

Occupiers Responsibilities in Rabbit Clearance Area (Under Section 1)
All occupiers have a continuing obligation to control rabbits living on, or resorting to, their land unless they can establish that it is not reasonably practicable for them to do so, when they must prevent the rabbits from doing damage, e.g. by fencing them in with rabbit-proof fencing. Local Authorities have an obligation to control rabbits on their own land.

An occupier within a rabbit clearance area has unrestricted rights to kill rabbits on his land by any lawful means except by shooting.

Spread of Myxomatosis (Under Section 12)
It is illegal to use an infected rabbit to spread myxomatosis.

The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996
This Act plugs a loophole that existed in wildlife legislation, where non-captive wild animals had little or no protection. It made it an offense to:
mutilate, kick, beat, impale, stab, burn, stone, crush, drown, drag or asphyxiate any wild animal with intent to inflict unnecessary suffering.

Exceptions allow pest control, shooting, hunting and coursing to be carried out providing that the animal is killed swiftly. This eliminates drowning as a means of dispatching trapped animals.

Agriculture Act 1947
Under Section 98 any person having the right to do so may, by written notice, be required by the Minister to take such steps as may be necessary for the killing, taking or destruction of certain animals or birds (or their eggs) for the purpose of preventing damage to crops, pasture, animal or human foodstuffs, livestock, trees, hedges, banks or any works on land. The notice may specify time limits for any action, the steps to be taken and the land on which they are to be taken.

Animals that may be specified in the notice are rabbits, hares, other rodents, deer, foxes and moles. There are powers to add other animals to the list. The birds that may be specified are all wild birds not protected by Schedule 1 or the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Under Section 98 (7) (added by Section 2 of the Pests Act 1954) an occupier may be required by written notice to destroy or reduce breeding places or cover (e.g. scrub) for rabbits or to prevent rabbits from spreading or doing damage elsewhere.

Under Section 99 occupiers of land may be required to take steps to prevent the escape of animals from land on which they are kept in captivity, but only if the animals are agricultural pests or animals which might damage banks or landworks. Dangerous animals are not included - they are the responsibility of local authorities.

The recent controversial legislation for Hunting With Dogs has not being covered here.

This list should not be taken as a definitive list but as a guideline
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