Night shooting has been approved

At the May sitting of Tynwald modifications to the 1927 Game Act were made to allow for the night shooting of rabbits from June 1st 2011.

The Manx NFU strongly recommend that in addition to adhering to the new Act you read and learn the Night Shooting Code of Practice set out below.

BEFORE any night shooting can take place you must undertake the following:

  1. You must obtain and complete an amendment for to your firearms certificate (available from any Police station).
  2. Any land to be used for night shooting must be registered in advance with the consent of the landowner with the Police.
  3. Please also read the Game Act 1927 (Modification) order 2011 (also below).




  • Occupiers of land and those taking part in shooting should be fully conversant with all legislation pertaining to the activity and should comply with it at all times.
  • Use only the appropriate firearms and suitable ammunition to ensure humane control.
  • Always carry your firearms certificate and/or any laminated permission card that the police might issue.
  • Always inform the police at least one hour before shooting commences. You should also inform near neighbours.
  • During daylight hours familiarise yourself fully with the ground you are to shoot over and you must ensure that you have fully established safe directions for firing and suitable back-stops.
  • Always carry a mobile phone with you.
  • Never consume alcohol prior to or during shooting.



  • You must clearly identify and fully illuminate the body of the animal (rabbit) you intend to shoot at. Do not shoot at a pair of eyes.
  • Always ensure a clear background and clear field of fire. Never shoot towards the crest of a hill. Pellets and bullets can ricochet off fence wire, stones etc. A telescopic sight may not reveal these and you should always check by eye your line of fire.
  • Pay particular attention when shooting close to field boundaries especially those adjoining a road, tracks, public rights of way and any fields containing livestock.



  • Shooting from a vehicle is potentially dangerous and a safety procedure must be explicitly agreed with the driver and passengers of the vehicle before shooting commences. Ensure that your procedure eliminates the possibility of people entering the field of fire unexpectedly.
  • Lamping should involve no more than four people; a driver, someone to shoot, a third person to operate the lamp and a fourth person to retrieve carcases. No person should at any time be in front of the firearm user.
  • The driver should know the terrain and avoid sharp braking, sudden turning and keep constant vigilance forpotential hazards e.g. ruts and holes.
  • When shooting from the back of a vehicle a firm, stable and safe position is required before taking a shot. A sand bag or bi-pod on a rifle will provide a suitably stable platform.
  • When using a rifle and telescopic sight, be aware that the barrel of the rifle is lower than the line of sight through the scope at close range.
  • If shooting from an adapted seat or cradle ensure it is firmly bolted to the vehicle.
  • Never shoot from a moving vehicle.
  • Wounded quarry must be followed up, collected and despatched quickly and humanely.
  • All carcases must be disposed of in a suitable manner.
  • Ear defenders and eye protection are advisable and a first aid kit should be carried in the vehicle

Statutory Document No. 0262/11
Laid before Tynwald: 17th May 2011
Approved by Tynwald: 17th May 2011
Coming into operation: 1 June 2011
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture makes this Order under section 10(1) of the Game Act 19571.

1 Citation
This Order is the Game Act 1927 (Modification) Order 2011.

2 Commencement
If approved by Tynwald2, this Order comes into operation on 1 June 2011.

3 Modification of sections 3 and 4 of the Game Act 1927
(1) Sections 3 and 4 of the Game Act 1927 are modified as follows.
(2) In section 3 –
(a) renumber the existing text as subsection (1);
(b) after subsection (1) add –
“(2) However, subsection (1) does not apply to the pursuit of rabbits on –
(a) any land occupied by the person doing the pursuing, or the employee of such person; or
(b) any other land with the consent of the occupier of the land.”.
1 XVIII p. 884
2 As required by section 10(2) of the 1957 Act
(3) For section 4, substitute –
“Use of artificial light for pursuing game, etc, prohibited
(1) No person shall at any time use artificial light of any description in connection with the hunting, pursuing or shooting of game, rabbits, birds, or vermin.
(2) However, subsection (1) does not apply to the hunting, pursuing or shooting of rabbits, using only dogs in accordance with subsection (3) or suppressed firearms in accordance with subsection (4), on-
(a) any land occupied by the person doing the hunting, pursuing or shooting, or the employee of such person; or
(b) any other land with the written consent of the occupier of the land (which consent must be lodged at the police station nearest to the land).
(3) The use of dogs under subsection (2) is permitted only –
(a) in the Parishes of Andreas, Ballaugh, Bride and Jurby in any of the months from 1 September to the end of February each year; and
(b) in any other Parish during the months of September, October and November in each year.
(4) A person using a suppressed firearm under subsection (2) –
(a) must hold a firearms certificate in force at the time; and
(b) must have obtained the consent of the Isle of Man Constabulary.
(5) In deciding whether to give consent under subsection (4)(b), the Isle of Man Constabulary must be satisfied that the individual is a fit and proper person and has sufficient experience and will adhere to any relevant guidance issued by the Isle of Man Constabulary.
(6) In this section –
“firearms certificate” has the same meaning as in section 32 of the Firearms Act 1947;
“suppressed firearm” means a firearm fitted with a device intended to substantially reduce the noise produced when that firearm is discharged.”.

4 Revocation
The following Orders are revoked –
(a) The Destruction of Rabbits Order 1978;
(b) The Destruction of Rabbits (Amendment) Order 1987

Made 18th April 2011
J P Shimmin
Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture
3 Vol XVI p. 586
4 GC 154/78
5 GC 202/87

(This note is not part of the Order)
This Order modifies the Game Act 1927 to enable the pursuit of rabbits at night on land occupied by the person undertaking the activity (or his or her employee) or a person given permission by that landowner.
The hunting of rabbits at night using artificial light is permitted using suppressed firearms (as well as dogs and with the same restrictions as to the land similar to those described above as currently provided).
Additional conditions are imposed in the Order which require anyone undertaking night shooting to be in possession of a firearms certificate and obtain consent from the Isle of Man Constabulary who must be satisfied that the person undertaking the activity is a fit and proper person and has sufficient experience and that he or she will adhere to any guidance set down.

For further information from the Manx NFU please contact General Secretary, Belinda Leach Tel: 01624 662204 or Mobile: 07624 490327 or the President of the Manx NFU President, Ray Craine on Mobile: 07624 451412

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