Latest News from BPCA

03 August 2020

Wild Justice hearing given go-ahead over Welsh general licences

Wild Justice, the campaign group spearheaded by Chris Packham, has been granted an expedited hearing over "legality" of bird control licences issued by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

wild-justice-legal-hearing-go-ahead-wales icon

The hearing, believed to be taking place in Autumn, will be a judicial review of general licences issued for bird control in Wales, which Wild Justice believe to be unlawful.

Since successful legal bids to change the general licences across the UK began around February 2019, changes have been made to the licensing systems in each nation.

In Wales, four general licences were revoked on 7 October 2019 and new versions issued (GL001, GL002, GL004 and GL016).

Currently these authorise the control of a number of some bird species for public health and safety, conservation, and prevention of serious damage or spread of disease to livestock and crops.

These general licences are valid until 31 December 2020, while an ongoing review by NRW into how the licences work continues. 

BPCA Chief Executive, Ian Andrew, commented:

“I am delighted BPCA is working alongside a few other key stakeholders to help NRW’s review and development of bird licensing.

“This legal challenge will likely only result in slowing down efforts by NRW to get a workable licensing system in place. We cannot have a repeat of this year’s licensing problems in Wales or elsewhere.

"Most of our members were left unable to undertake any lethal control this season (including egg removal) in a situation where there was a clear risk. This is a concern, as we believe we need to strike a balance between protecting public health, and respecting and preserving British wildlife."

Further reading:

Changes to bird control licences in Wales: bpca.org.uk/News/changes-to-bird-control-general-licences-in-wales/236526

Natural Resources Wales General Licences: naturalresources.wales/permits-and-permissions/species-licensing/uk-protected-species-licensing/general-licences-for-birds-2020/?lang=en

A birds-eye view of general licences: bpca.org.uk/News/bpca-get-a-birds-eye-view-of-general-licences/234235

Open letter to Natural England: Individual licences for gull control in England, this year and beyond: bpca.org.uk/News-and-Blog/bpca-open-letter-to-natural-england-on-gull-control-licences/257007

Scotland: General licences for bird control update: bpca.org.uk/News/scotland-general-licences-for-bird-control-update/242379

Wild Justice: Our latest legal challenge: wildjustice.org.uk/general/test-3/

Source: Online