Wild Justice has launched its first case – a challenge of the legality of the General Licences.
Our legal advice is that the way that Natural England/Defra authorise the killing of Carrion Crows, Woodpigeons, Jackdaws and a list of other species is unlawful. Our lawyers wrote to Natural England on 13 February but they only replied on Wednesday (after four weeks) and their response was confused and evasive. We’re not sure whether NE are admitting that they are presiding over an illegal licensing system or not!
It may be that they are playing the Theresa May game of kicking the can down the road and hoping that something like a miracle happens but it’s terribly difficult to be sure.
And the clock is ticking as we must file our arguments with the court in the next two weeks to be within time. In fact, it will be around my birthday, Brexit Day (perhaps) on 29 March that the legal case has to be filed.
For me, this is a question of why the agency whose job it is to protect wildlife and uphold wildlife law, and its parent government department which has similar responsibilities, have allowed millions of birds to be killed unlawfully (according to our legal advice) for nearly four decades.
Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust figures estimate (no-one really knows) that the following numbers are killed each year:
I don’t have a big problem, personally, with birds being killed as a last resort, for very good reasons, as the law allows. But the situation we have is not that at all. The General Licence system adds up to state facilitation of the casual killing of wildlife. Wildlife killing is largely unregulated in the UK – this is a good example of that general problem.
Wild Justice needs to raise £36,000 to take this case all the way through the courts. I hope you can help us to use the courts to get justice for wildlife. Please donate here.
A Jay – ten thousand are killed in UK under the ‘authorisation’ of the General Licences each year according to the GWCT. Photo: Andy Rouse.