Yesterday afternoon Natural Resources Wales answered my questions about Jay culling on NRW land as follows:
Our response to your questions is as follows –
1. Does NRW cull Jays under the provisions of the general licences on its land?
NRW does not currently cull jay on land it owns or manages.
2. Does NRW permit the culling of Jays by others on its land?
Anyone wanting to carry out any activity on the land we own or manage would have to apply to us for authorisation. We currently have no record of any authorisations for this activity.
NRW manages ‘7% of Welsh land on behalf of the people of Wales, including 120,000ha of woodland, 42 National Nature Reserves and five Visitor Centres‘ and they say that they do this ‘applying the principles of sustainable management of natural resources‘ which include taking account of all relevant evidence and the benefits and intrinsic value of natural resources and ecosystems.
Taking account of all the relevant evidence NRW can find no compelling reason to kill a single Jay on its 120,000ha of woodland – and yet it licenses others to kill Jays in unlimited numbers for the alleged purpose of nature conservation. That seems totally bizarre to me.
But this is a hat-trick for the Jay: Forestry England doesn’t kill Jays and Forestry and Land Scotland doesn’t kill Jays and NRW doesn’t kill Jays. Natural England licenses few Jays to be killed on SSSIs. the BTO says that the evidence for Jays being a conservation problem is low. RSPB and, as far as I am aware, the Wildlife Trusts and other NGO land managers do not kill Jays under the terms of the general licences.
And yet DEFRA, Nature Scotland and NRW all allow unlimited numbers of Jays to be killed under general licences. They don’t use those general licences themselves it seems, nature conservation organisations don’t use them. And yet apparently 12,000 Jays are killed each year under the terms of those licences. It doesn’t make any sense at all. What a waste! What a thoughtless assault on a beautiful bird. This is casual government-sanctioned killing of wildlife.[registration_form]