Monday, 10 May 2021

Wild Justice newsletter #60


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Good morning! It's been a month since our last newsletter and so we have some catching up to do - it's not as though we haven't been doing anything.  In fact, there will be a second newsletter this week and there may well be another one next week.  You see, Wild Justice newsletters are like buses, you wait for ages and then three come along at once.  Today's is a general catch-up and ends with a couple of requests for help.
How do you like the amazing image by artist and author Henny Beaumont?  Striking isn't it?
And let us say a big hello to all the new subscribers who have joined this newsletter in the last month.  You are very welcome.
Stalled: we are still waiting for a date for our appeal on our Badger legal challenge.  It's been ages now. There's nothing we can do to hurry things along, the court system is creaking - you may have read about it in the papers. Also, we have two e-petitions that are in the queue for debate in the Westminster parliament - one on banning driven grouse shooting and the other on Badger shooting.  The Petitions Committee staff have kept us up to date with possibilities but these debates are not imminent.  It's a covid impact on life - we just have to put up with it.
Glyphosate: glyphosate is a herbicide and is also used as a crop desiccant - you may know it as Roundup marketed by Monsanto. The use of such powerful pesticides is regulated but we believe that many local authorities and their contractors are using this chemical in ways that are unlawful - the laws exist to protect both people and the environment. We've identified some local authorities who have greatly reduced their use of herbicides and others who seem to be ignoring the laws. We'll tell you more about both in future newsletters.This project has been running for months and we'll soon be able to bring you news.
General licences in Wales: Natural Resources Wales has refused to answer a great many perfectly sensible and legitimate questions about the operation of their own licences for killing birds. That is quite astounding. We will be following up. Thank you to the very large number of you who have contacted NRW - we're sorry you have had such poor responses from them.
General licences in England: we made a deliberately cryptic allusion, in the last newsletter, to sending  DEFRA 'a dossier of legal arguments and factual information, about what may be a recent breach of general licence conditions in England' and we've been in correspondence with DEFRA in the intervening period. DEFRA tell us that they 'will not be providing further updates' so we feel perfectly entitled to tell you all about this case in the near future.  Watch this space.
Gamebird releases: DEFRA intend to issue their new licences on gamebird releases soon, probably this week. We will review them closely to assess whether they meet the requirements of the laws protecting designated sites of nature conservation importance.  Did DEFRA listen to the consultation responses from Wild Justice supporters and others on this subject? We'll see, and we'll tell you soon.
Lead levels in game meat: back in newsletter 52 at the end of February we told you that we had collected samples of game meat from Sainsbury's stores and sent them off for analysis, and that we would tell you, and Sainsbury's, about the results 'in the spring'. We got the results back from the laboratory last Thursday evening and we will tell you about them in a second newsletter this week - that's the plan.  Here is the blog we wrote about the project back in mid-February.
Can we ask for your advice please?: we are planning to give our website a spring clean. If you would be prepared to answer a few simple questions about what you think of it then email us at with the title of the email being WEBSITE please, and we will send you a short questionnaire.  You don't have to be a website designer to take part - we are interested in views from a range of people with different perspectives.  Thank you.
Thank you - you are stars!: in newsletter 53, on 1 March, we told you about a petition calling for better protection for wildlife in the Environment Bill. You responded phenomenally and from day 1 to the present day Wild Justice supporters, your friends and relatives have provided the second highest number of signatures to that petition of any of the 60 supporting organisations. We're pleased that the petition passed 150,000 signatures at the weekend.  That's pretty good, but we want more!  Please spread the word further to friends and colleagues and ask them to sign the #StateOfNature petition today - click here.  Thank you!  The petition has another month or so to go - it would be good to get well past 200,000 signatures and on to 250,000 - that's possible with your help.
That's it for now - you'll hear from us again on lead in game meat later this week.
Wild Justice (Directors: Mark Avery, Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay).
PS Another way that you can help is to forward this email widely to your friends and relatives if you think they will be interested - click here if you have been sent this newsletter by a friend and you want to subscribe yourself.  Thank you.

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