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A petition introduced by UK wildlife charity, Wild Justice, calling for a shorter shooting season for woodcock, a native bird, will be debated in Westminster Hall on 27 February 2023. The petition which has received 107,916 signatures calls for the season across the UK to start on 1 December, rather than 1 September in Scotland and 1 October in the rest of the country.

Native and overwintering woodcock are shot as game. However, there are concerns about the native population, which is declining and on the Great Britain Red List due to concerns it may become extinct.

The petition was laid following a letter from Wild justice asking the then Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustace, to amend the shooting season in England and Wales. This is in their view is “a simple and precautionary change in order to reduce the pressure on a declining species of conservation concern”.

The proposal is supported by the RSPB as an emergency precautionary measure, but is opposed by countryside and shooting organisations, who point to the impact of habitat loss on native woodcock as the main cause of population decline.

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