Minister of state with responsibility for Heritage Malcolm Noonan has introduced a ban on the shooting of four native wild bird species; the scaup, goldeneye, pochard and pintail.
The ban was brought about by the birds’ removal from the Open Seasons Order and became effective from 1 September.
Minister Noonan said the move is only the second time that a bird species has been removed from the order within the last 30 years, the first being the curlew, in 2012.
He said the shooting ban came following internal analysis by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), a public survey and stakeholder consultation.
“While this announcement is a significant step forward for the protection of wild birds, I would stress that this is just the starting point of a process of change as to how the [order] can work better for the conservation of birds in Ireland,” he added.
The Minister also intends to establish a sustainable hunting of wild birds stakeholder forum and will be making an announcement on the details of this in the coming weeks.
However, the ban has been described as flawed by the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC).
The gun group has insisted that the minister did not show collaboration with the NARGC when removing the birds from the order list.