NATIONAL WORKING TERRIER FEDERATION (N.W.T.F.)
ENGLAND & WALES.
The Hunting Act (2004) regulates terrier work In England and Wales, for full details of the Act click here.
Summary: This Act (schedule 1 paragraph 2) permits the use of a single dog below ground to flush out wild mammals solely for the purpose of preventing or reducing serious damage to game birds or wild birds being kept or preserved to be shot. The person must carry with them written permission and intend to shoot the wild mammal as soon as possible after it is flushed.
All reasonable steps must be taken to prevent risk or injury to the dog and the manner in which it is used must comply with the following code issued by the Secretary of State:
- The terrier's role is to locate and flush the mammal, not to fight with it.
- Only 'soft' terriers which stand back and bark are to be used.
- Care must be taken to ensure the safety of those involved and to minimise the risk of injury to either the terrier or the wild mammal.
- The terrier's time below ground must be kept as short as is possible.
- The terrier must always be fitted with an electronic locator.
- Once it is determined a terrier is trapped, assistance must be given to release it immediately.
Under the Act nothing other than nets may be placed over entrance/exit holes during the flushing. It is not permitted to use a terrier to locate, dig down and dispatch the quarry. But if the dog is removed, relocated, secured and not used again, then the quarry may be dug down to and dispatched. The hunting of rats and rabbits is exempt from the above, but does require the landowner or occupiers permission in order to be exempt. For full details of the code, click here.
To assist its members and others, to more fully understand and comply with the Act. The N.W.T.F. and the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain have jointly funded the printing of 20,000 explanatory postcards which have been distributed at Working Terrier Shows and Game Fairs across the country. The front of the postcard serves as written permission from the landowner and the reverse summarises the legal requirements under the Act (see examples below).
The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 This Act regulates terrier work in Scotland, for full details of the Act click here.
Summary: Sections 2 & 5 of the Act permit the use of a dog to flush both mink and foxes from below ground providing that -
- Reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the fox or mink is flushed as soon as reasonably possible after it is located and is shot as soon as possible after it is flushed.
- Reasonable steps are taken to prevent injury to the dog. Including steps to prevent the dog becoming trapped underground and, if it does become trapped underground, steps to ensure it is rescued as soon as is possible.
- The person is in possession of a firearm for which they hold a valid firearms or shotgun certificate;
- The person is the owner or lawful occupier of the land on which the activity takes place, or is acting on their behalf and with their permission.
The Act also permits (subject to the above requirements), the use of a dog below ground in order to locate a fox cub(s) which that person reasonably believes is orphaned. But only if that person takes reasonable steps to ensure that once located the cub is despatched by a single dog, or otherwise killed as humanely as possible.
As in England and Wales, in order to assist its members and others, to more fully understand and comply with the Scottish Act the N.W.T.F. have produced the following explanatory postcards. The front of the postcard serves as written permission from the landowner and the reverse summarises the legal requirements (see examples below). Please feel free to copy and reproduce the examples below.