On 4th November, we blogged about SNH’s intention to restrict the use of General Licences in two areas, in response to alleged raptor persecution incidents. The two areas included parts of the Raeshaw and Corsehope Estates in the Borders (Restriction #1), and parts of the Burnfoot and Wester Cringate Estates in Stirlingshire (Restriction #2) (see here for our earlier blog about these restrictions, and see here for SNH’s explanation for the restrictions).
The General Licence restrictions were due to begin on 13th November 2015 and run for three years. They actually only ran for six days.
On 19th November 2015, the General Licence restrictions were suspended in both areas until further notice, because the Estates have lodged legal appeals, as they said they would last week (see here). While the appeals are underway, the Estates can continue to use the General Licences (i.e. continue to set crow traps and Larsen traps to catch and kill corvids, continue to shoot corvids, and continue to kill lots of other stuff that falls under the remit of activities permitted under the General Licences – see here for a list).
We don’t know what the basis of the appeals are, and nor do we know the procedural process of the appeals system, but presumably SNH now has a fixed period of time to respond. If SNH decides to uphold the appeals then the General Licence restrictions will be removed. If SNH decides to stick to its original decision and impose the three-year restrictions, then the restrictions would be re-instated. However, then these Estates would be entitled to apply for a judicial review to test whether SNH has acted fairly.
Settle yourselves in for a long legal battle.