Closed petition Extend "rule of six" to ensure that hunting and shooting are banned

Ensure that the recent restrictions of social gatherings to six individuals from different households also extend to outdoor activities including the hunting and shooting of grouse, foxes, and other animals.

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This is a time of national crisis, when everyone's personal freedoms have been necessarily limited. It is therefore entirely unacceptable that special provisions be given to particular pastimes and leisure purists. COVID-19 doesn't distinguish between 30 people gathered to hunt grouse, and 30 people gathered to play and watch football, rugby, ultimate frisbee, quidditch or any other sport.

The government should ensure that all groups abide by the rules. Only then will this crisis be averted.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 24 March 2021

Under current lockdown rules people can meet one person from another household outside. When the rule of 6 commences, organised outdoor sports are expected to resume, not subject to the rule of 6.

Under current national lockdown regulations, people can spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on their own, with their household or support bubble, or with one other person. There are no exemptions for any kind of leisure activity.

No earlier than 29 March outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households will be permitted. Organised outdoor sports are expected to also resume, and not be subject to the rule of six or two households.

With regards to game shooting, the main types of organised events are driven grouse, partridge and pheasant shooting. Shooting seasons for these birds start in August, September and October respectively.

With regards to hunting, the Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in that Act. Exempt hunting and trail hunting typically take place between September and March.

Remaining restrictions on social contact (including the rule of 6) are expected to be lifted on or after 21 June.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs