Total ban on shooting an option for Councillors in Wildfowling row

Councillors have the option of an outright ban on shooting on council-owned land.
Councillors have the option of an outright ban on shooting on council-owned land.

SHOOTING COULD BE BANNED on Moray Council property when Councillors meet tomorrow to discuss the collapse of a voluntary agreement over the issue around Findhorn Bay.

A report was ordered to outline the available options after a voluntary agreement negotiated locally was torn up by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), whose members were ordered to ignore the agreement and carry on shooting.

That decision is known to have angered several local councillors, who had thought the peaceful discussions had reached a satisfactory conclusion both for local people and those who wished to continue shooting.

Now members of the economic development and infrastructure services committee will be told on Tuesday that one option they have is to impose and outright ban on shooting on land that is owned by Moray Council.

The report author, head of direct services Stephen Cooper, says: “Although wildfowling takes place at various areas in Findhorn Bay, the area where there is the greatest competition with other recreational users appears to be in the south-east of the bay.

“Most of the land between the foreshore and the public road at this part of the bay is owned by the Moray Council. The council could exercise its rights as a landowner to control activity on this land – and it could legitimately prohibit shooting as this area is not part of the foreshore.”

Several options are being put before councillors – but the desire of the BASC for bye-laws that would create a permit system is thought likely not to find favour because of the costs involved.

Another option is to hold a full hearing into the situation that would involve all stakeholders, including the MoD, Police and local groups.

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