Threadbare evidence

The Wild Justice blog has published the Licence Determination document which was obtained through an information request and which forms part of the decision-making for General Licence GL26.

It makes interesting reading only in the sense that it is quite fun to try to find the evidence on which the licence is based. It’s like a puzzle – where’s the evidence? Where’s the evidence? One could easily get the impressuion that there is no evidence to justify killing Carrion Crows to protect captive Pheasants or Red-legged Partridges under a general licence. Maybe licensing lethal control only where NE staff can quiz the applicant on what’s happening would be a better system?

Although this guy on Twitter, who self-identifies as a gamekeeper, thinks there is no need for it at all.

Indeed! We haven’t seen a licence which authorises the lethal killing of Carrion Crows to protect fauna and flora yet – but you’ll note that Wild Justice hasn’t called for Defra not to issue one, whereas they have asked for Defra not to issue general licences for Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie and Rook for the purpose of protecting wil birds (see here).

And note, that this document is dated February – and yet NE sprung their revocation of the existing licences on the world in April (yet they were working on drafting new licenses for over seven weeks before that?).

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9 Replies to “Threadbare evidence”

    1. So whats your evidence in not controlling carrion birds? Everyone and my dog knows jays magpies crows jackdaws rooks feed off the eggs and young of any other bird. Shall we let nature continue and then see a demise in song birds etc

      1. I don't think anyone has ever disputed the fact that corvids take the eggs and young of other birds. Predation is a fact of nature and we should only interfere if there is evidence that it is having a negative impact on populations of they prey species. In the case of corvids predating smaller birds I think this evidence is so far non existent. Song birds have existed alongside corvids for millions of years and will continue to do so provided they have the right habitat. If it is O.K. to kill one species because it feeds on another where do we stop. This week Springwatch had footage of a woodpecker taking tree creeper chicks (and no doubt they take the chicks of other species) does this mean they should be added to the list of species that can be culled to protect song birds? There has been a catastrophic decline in the number of moths over the last 50 years, should we start culling songbirds because they feed lots of caterpillars to their chicks? With the exception of damaging non native species we should absolutely let nature continue and provided we give it enough space and the right kind of habitat it will be be fine.

  1. Doesn't really matter now, as we've got GL34 35 & 36 as of tomorrow. Sense at last. No doubt you lot will spit dummies but these are watertight & allow us who really understand the UK countryside to crack on & help biodiversity. Thank you Mr Gove

  2. I have to say Mr Avery, that you and Chris Packham, should hang your heads in shame. In your previous blog, you suggest you don't know quite what you collectively wanted, other than to use crowd funding to challenge an alleged illegality. You and Chris Packham, have caused an incalculable destruction of wildlife that we manage in the country. It is well catalogued by many that Lapwings, Plover, Avocet etc, etc, have lost a years breeding programme due to your ridiculous and un educated crusade. In the meantime, Mr Packham, busy with climate protests, is continuing to peddle his own trips to the four corners of the world, responsible for a hypocritically huge carbon footprint, but clearly that doesn't matter as long as the money rolls in. Not only wildlife, but individual businesses and families have suffered, possibly irretrievably by your collective interference.
    Personally, I am absolutely thrilled, that with the re writing of the general licenses, to satisfy yourselves, although you don't know what you wanted, gives us all in the rural community, the opportunity, to try and salvage the little that is left this year from the destruction and devastation you are responsible for.

  3. Wow, all the plastic "countrymen" are out in force (or should that be farce?) tonight. You'd think that they'd all be too busy abusing wild animals!


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