The NGO is pleased to keep its members updated on the progress being made on General Licences and today Defra have released the following statement.
NGO members are understandably concerned that little more has been heard since Defra took back control of General Licensing in England, promising to resolve the crisis brought about by Natural England revoking three widely-used General Licences for the control of common pest and predatory birds.
This afternoon (Friday 7 June) Defra did issue a statement. It reads:
"We intend to announce shortly how we will proceed on general licensing, following an evidence-gathering exercise undertaken by Defra over the course of the last month. We received more than 4,000 responses to the call for evidence, and we have since been carefully considering all the evidence received in order to determine next steps, alongside additional evidence. As part of our evidence gathering we have sought the views of user groups on the useability of different potential licensing options.
"We appreciate the urgency of getting a working licensing system in place as quickly as possible. A final decision has not yet been taken on the way forward, but we will be setting out next steps shortly."
The NGO can confirm it is among the 'user groups' whose views have been sought. We have taken a robust line with Defra, demanding workable, lawful General Licences that allow control as before this crisis began. You can read more about our position in the submission we made to Defra's evidence-gathering exercise last month which is published on the NGO website.
We are also in regular contact with officials in Wales about the future of the General Licences there, which are currently unchanged.
We will keep members and the NGO website updated with any evolving news.