Wild Justice – further legal challenge

Wild justice, the not for profit company established by myself, Chris Packham CBE and Dr Ruth Tingay, has launched a new legal challenge to Natural England.

Wild Justice, took a successful legal challenge against the general licences GL04, GL05 and GL06 which resulted in Natural England revoking those licences at very short notice, which caused a furore in parts of the media. Natural England then published a plan for issuing replacement licences but didn’t get very far with that plan before Michael Gove stepped in and ‘took charge’ of licensing matters. Defra then issued a consultation on the matter of licences and said that the Secretary of State would issue guidance within another week – that guidance is now three weeks overdue.

But before having the ball taken away from it, Natural England issued three replacement licences for lethal control of Canada Geese (for the purposes of preserving public health and safety, GL28), Woodpigeons (to prevent serious damage to crops, GL31) and Carrion Crows (to prevent serious damage to livestock, where livestock, under some circumstances, includes gamebirds, GL26). Wild Justice is challenging GL26 and in particular those parts of it relating to gamebirds.

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11 Replies to “Wild Justice – further legal challenge”

  1. I've never been convinced about the threat to released game birds from Crows in the first place, as small poults in the pen may be but only may be, afterwards just don't believe it and have never understood the justification of pheasant keepers killing crows..

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    1. Paul - me neither. Maybe that’s why NE don’t mention any evidence that it happens or that it is serious.

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      1. Of course shoots that claim to be reliant or partly reliant on wild bred birds will claim some justification as crows can be serious egg/small chick predators. However I have in conversation with keepers been told that they kill crows to protect other wildlife so some of their crow killing is under the justification of fauna and flora protection, part of their ridiculous claim to be fellow conservationists. Personally I think pheasant keeper crow killing, and I've known them kill Rooks, Jackdaws, Magpies and Jays too, is just casual killing under the mistaken belief that the general licences give them carte blanche to do so. Many used to think that these birds, along with all the rest named on the GLs were unprotected in all circumstances. I think some of the vehement protests about GL withdrawal and changes have been to a cover their confusion that this was in fact not the case. Their world view has been somewhat shaken by it all, good!!!

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    2. They're villains, Paul. All 'true countrymen' know that! What more do you need? 😉

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  2. Thought your response to the questions from Sporting Gun were excellent Mark. Thank you, it clarified several points in the submission on GL26.
    https://www.facebook.com/markiavery/posts/10156683075763043?comment_id=10156683230038043&notif_id=1560257881529621&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic

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  3. Here we go again Mark...anti- shooting is WJs agenda , not protection of wild birds...just as I said when you launched your first legal challenge. Good luck convincing NE or Defra that they have to go out and pre check every single farmer etc. has put a bird scare out etc, it's a joke. I was at the Northern Shooting Show in May which was attended by 10 police forces, all of which said your agenda was a complete farce.

    Just come clean and campaign openly to end shooting instead of back door tactics which damage peoples livelihoods and have a detrimental effect for wild life.

    Your old friend...S

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    1. S - we haven't tried to persuade NE or Defra of what you suggest so you don't have to wish us luck, thanks, mate.

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      1. How else is NE or Defra going to satisfy themselves that all other non lethal methods have been used? The new licences require land managers to keep records which need to be shown to NE or the Police on request, beyond that you are effectively asking NE or Defra to go out onto every piece of land and check prior to lethal methods being used??? Utterly ridiculous. Your campaign doesn't even have any alternative strategies! Which further shows it's just a cloaked attack on people who shoot. #WJ come clean

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        1. S - how do NE do it for every other species of bird - those not on the revoked general licences? But it's up to them to come up with a lawful licensing system, not us. That's their job, not ours. You'd prefer an unlawful system, would you? that appears to be your solution - keep the unlawful stuff.

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          1. Mark how many species not on the GL need to be controlled with lethal methods??. Not many, thus far less burden on NE. Also those other species not on the GL are most likely in decline/endangered??? ...thus greater scrutiny required/justified. Not one on the old GL list is anywhere near decline apart from the LBBG which is in slight decline according to you.

            Stop hiding behind the law argument, NE revoked the old GLs due to this wording issue and have made it tighter and tried to also make it pragmatic to enforce and you are still unhappy?? What is WJs answer Mark? Ban it all???

            #WJ come clean!

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          2. S - 170,000 over 5 years of 70 species https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/22/conservation-body-issues-170000-wild-bird-kill-permits-in-five-years

            How many species are killed under the General Licences? No-one knows do they? Because it is entirely unmonitored and unregulated.

            Wild Justice's answer is 'Do your job, get it right'. We have never said 'ban it all' - those are your words which you keep repeating as though they are Wild Justice's - they aren't.

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