Both the League Against Cruel Sports and BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) have attacked Government plans to remove the current restrictions on shooting 'game' birds on Sundays and Christmas Day.

Christopher Graffius, Director of Communications for BASC, indicated that BASC had no plans to holddriven shoots on Sundays saying "If you live near a shoot it's bad enough having the noise on three, four or five days a week; this is going to do nothing for yourrelations with the neighbours. And we should give the birds a rest."

Paul Tillsley from the League expressed suprise that Defra were pushing ahead with the changes despite widespread rejection to the plans, calling the decision "bizzare".

He said "The indication has been that most people in the countryside are not interested in shoting on Sundays, so why bother changing the law".

A Defra spokesman defended the plans, but acknowledged that "some may say that Sundays and Christmas Day should remain a day of rest for shooters."