Minister Malcolm Noonan has formally signed into law the wild birds derogation declaration, allowing farmers to protect crops from infestations of some bird types.

Control of specified bird species is allowed where they represent a threat to public health, are likely to cause serious damage to crops or livestock and where no other satisfactory solution exists.

The current declaration is due to expire at the end of July, and this new declaration will operate from 1 August until May 2023.

As before, grey crows, magpies, rooks, jackdaws, wood pigeons and feral pigeons are specified as animals that can be shot.

In addition, cage traps can be used for grey crows and magpies. A live decoy can be used, subject to certain conditions. These include that the live bird must only be used to hunt birds of the same species, be regularly provided with adequate food and water, and be kept in a cage that allows it to move and exercise freely.

A number of members of the pigeon family-the turtle dove, the wild rock dove and any domestic rock dove, including homing and carrier pigeons remain protected, and cannot be hunted.