Friday, 28 May 2021

Wild Justice 62 - a breach of the general licences?

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The headline above appeared in the Shooting Times on 10 February 2021 and starts an article by a regular Shooting Times contributor about his day's shooting on 30 January when he went out to shoot 10 different species of wildlife in a day just 'to see if it could be done'.  He'd never done that before.
As you can see, he got his 10 species: Red Fox, Rabbit, Carrion Crow, Red-legged Partridge, Woodcock, Mallard, Teal, Pheasant, Wood Pigeon and Jay. What a nice day out!
Three of the species on this list are species that can only be killed by complying with the conditions of the General Licences for England. Wild Justice questions whether the General Licence conditions were met when the shooter killed these species.
We believe that the current General Licences represent casual licensing of the killing of protected species (all wild birds are protected by law) and that the licences provide cover for the casual killing of protected wildlife simply for 'fun'.  This account of a day's shooting, published in a leading magazine for the shooting community, illustrates our concerns.  
We have asked the Secretary of State for DEFRA, George Eustice, whether this behaviour is or isn't in line with the General Licences for which he is responsible. The Secretary of State has the power, simply by writing a letter to an individual, to withdraw the permission to use the General Licences.  
The shooting described in the article took place on 30 January 2021, and was published in the Shooting Times on 10 February 2021. We wrote to DEFRA on 26 March drawing this matter to the Secretary of State's attention. DEFRA told us they would look into this matter but then on 26 April said they would not be providing any further updates, to which Wild Justice replied saying that we believe this is a matter of public interest on which the Secretary of State should act and that we would be bringing this matter to the public's attention. 
This is us bringing it to your attention. We still await action from DEFRA on this matter.  We'll keep you updated on progress.
There are, in any case, questions for the shooting community and the Shooting Times too; is this the type of recreational shooting that you support and wish to promote? It appears that it is.
For more details of this case - click here.
If you like what we are doing then please consider making a donation through PayPal, bank transfer or a cheque in the post - see details here
That's it for now but we'll be back with more news soon. Have a good Bank Holiday weekend.
Wild Justice (Directors: Mark Avery, Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay).

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