The NGO has reacted angrily to the announcement today by Natural England (NE) that they are to revoke the three main General Licences for pest bird control this Thursday.

The NGO has reacted angrily to the announcement today by Natural England (NE) that they are to revoke the three main General Licences for pest bird control this Thursday.

From 'sometime on Thursday 25 April' (NE was unable to confirm to the NGO exactly when), General Licences GL04 (for the prevention of serious damage to crops and livestock), GL05 (for prevention of disease and ensuring public safety) and GL06 (for conservation purposes), will all cease to exist. 

The use of Larsen traps, crow cages and the shooting of sixteen pest bird species such as crows, rooks, magpies, and woodpigeons will all become illegal.

The news will stun not just gamekeepers but also farmers, pest controllers, nature reserve managers and everyone else who relies on the General Licences for essential routine control of problem birds.

NE said its sudden decision was the result of a legal challenge and was taken on the advice of its lawyers. It intends to issue replacement licences for 'certain circumstances' over the next few weeks and promises that a new temporary system for individual licensing will be available on its website 'by Thursday'. It remains to be seen whether this can possibly replace at such short notice the General Licensing system, which has been in existence since the 1990s and is used by thousands of people every single day of the year but especially in spring.

An NGO spokesman said the shock decision was already causing chaos and confusion and that it could also devastate wildlife and livelihoods.

"The science on this is completely clear. Without spring corvid control, wild gamebird production and the breeding of red-listed waders like the curlew and lapwing will be insufficient to maintain their English populations. 

"Stopping the use of all corvid traps and the shooting of crows and magpies at this time of year will be a disaster for wildlife, to say nothing of the livelihoods of those dependent on well-run grouse moors and farms where wild gamebirds such as the declining grey partridge are being managed."

The NGO has already spoken with NE's Director responsible, telling her just how much concern and chaos the decision will cause. The NGO is demanding comprehensive alternative licensing arrangements and proper communication from NE so that those who need to control pest birds know what is going on.

In the meantime, the NGO can only advise gamekeepers needing to continue trapping and shooting after Thursday to check out the Gov.uk/Natural England website, for any arrangements for individual licences that NE announces this Thursday.

NE's announcement this afternoon appears at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/general-licences-for-bird-control-major-changes-to-licensing-requirements  

 

 

 

 

 

Join the National Gamekeepers Organisation and Support Gamekeeping

Trade & Corporate

£100/year

Gamekeeper Member

£45/year

Supporter Member

£45/year

Family
 

£100/year

Joining the NGO is easy and can be done now online.
Or if you prefer, call 01833 660 869

Advertisements

Join our newsletter mailing list: