Yesterday Defra announced that they would be consulting on how to assess the impacts of releases of non-native gamebirds on sites of high conservation importance in response to Wild Justice’s legal challenge – see here.
Wild Justice’s view on Defra’s decision – see here.
Inaccurate coverage in the Daily Telegraph (maybe it would help them if they ever asked Wild Justice for information or comment before writing their pieces) – see here.
The Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner is quoted in the Telegraph as saying that:
Pheasants and red-legged partridges have been a part of the British countryside for hundreds of years and would have been present on many protected sites when they were designated.
“Research has repeatedly shown the positive conservation benefits of game shooting. We are confident that Defra’s review of the impact of releasing on protected sites will reach a similar conclusion.
This ignores, as Defra could not thanks to Wild Justice, that gamebird releases have increased enormously over recent decades and that the evidence of harm has grown over recent years too. Much of the research has been carried out by the GWCT but the shooting industry is wilfully blind to the downsides of their unregulated activities. If Tim Bonner, or anyone else, would like a copy of my recent British Birds paper on Pheasant releases which looks at some of the issues around Pheasant shooting (pros and cons) then sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title ‘Pheasants’ will enable Wild Justice to send him the paper.