In South West England we are rightly proud of our shooting sports. Game management and conservation shape and enhance our landscape. Wildlife thrives where land is managed for shooting.
Over a million people are involved in shooting in Britain; many more enjoy the end product as consumers of pheasants, partridges and other game. Moreover, shooting makes a substantial contribution to the rural economy often at times and in places where other income is scarce.
Provided it is carried out following the advice set out in this code the release of reared birds is an entirely valid method of increasing or sustaining a stock of wild game: indeed it is fundamental to British game shooting and its attendant conservation benefits.
This Code is primarily addressed to shooting "game", which includes all of the traditional gamebirds, namely, pheasants, partridges and grouse, but many of the principles apply equally to other quarry types ducks, geese and waders - as well as pest species, including pigeons, crows, rabbits, hares and squirrels.
The following Five Golden Rules apply: