In yesterday’s Natural England blog on the licensing of taking Peregrines from the wild Natural England’s Director for wildlife licensing, Dave Slater, points out that Natural England can issue licences for a variety of purposes which include falconry.
The legislation in question is the Wildlife and Countryside Act where the relevant section is, I think, Section 16(1e):
Now, a power to grant a licence is not the same as having to grant one, and for many years Natural England, and its predecessors, have not issued licences to take birds of prey for falconry, so this is a notable change.
There are three licences for two years, allowing each licensee to take 2 chicks per year. So, at the moment, 6 chicks over 2 years. There is, of course, a question about how thick a wedge this might turn into.