High Court grants permission for Wild Justice to pursue legal challenge against mass gamebird release

Wild Justice’s application for judicial review of the impacts of vast releases of non-native gamebirds on sites of high nature conservation importance has been granted.

The Hon Mr Justice Kerr has scrutinised Wild Justice’s application and has agreed that there is a substantive case for DEFRA to answer, and that case should be made in court by the end of October 2020.

Wild Justice is represented by Carol Day and Tessa Gregory, solicitors at Leigh Day, in this legal case.

Carol said “Defra was prompted to launch a review into the release of gamebirds on protected sites following the threat of legal action by Wild Justice in 2019 and on the issue of proceedings sought to argue the case is academic and premature. In granting permission for Judicial Review and ordering a hearing before the end of October, the Judge has clearly recognised the importance and urgency of this case, which will now be given a full and proper airing in Court.

This legal challenge is already fully funded by those who chose to support a Wild Justice crowdfunder last year.

For more information on this case and other Wild Justice legal challenges, both current and forthcoming, check out the Wild Justice blog (here) and subscribe to the free Wild Justice newsletter (here).

13 thoughts on “High Court grants permission for Wild Justice to pursue legal challenge against mass gamebird release”

  1. Poor poor creatures…those that are not shot or squashed on the roads may well follow their instincts, pair up, have chicks that usually cannot survive…my neighbour had a pair of Patridge appear with 6 teeny chicks last week. Parents flew off after being startled by a car and all of the chicks perished after getting themselves lost in long grass on a very cold night…in the morning the parent birds had returned and just stood looking around for several hours, as if waiting for their family to return. So heartbreaking and another needlessly cruel spin off of the horrible business……

  2. Doh !
    There could be a problem with doubling our bird biomass with nonnative gamebirds even on sensitive ecosystems?
    You think ?

    Keep up the pressure !

  3. And then there’s the associated rat problem – attracted by the grain scattered around for the pheasants. This inevitably leads to loads of rat poison being used with consequential effects on scavenging species such as Red Kites. Was talking to a farmer about this just last week. He said that, as soon as the shooters stop feeding the pheasants, the rats all head for his barns!

  4. Endless pressure, endlessly applied – good to see further proof that shooting vast quantities of game birds for fun is receiving the attention it deserves by becoming more repugnant every day, an analogy being how Badger culling is far less effective than vaccination at solving the TB problem, and infinitely more humane for all concerned. Nothing I’ve not said before, just another hurrah much like the one for the Mountain Hares being protected, at last.

  5. In the days when I travelled to work early, pheasants and partridges seemed to spend their nights on a particular country road. I often wondered why. Perhaps they were fed nearby, if the keeper were unwilling to travel far. One assumes the shoot owners knew but didn’t care.

    That served to establish my attitude. I don’t know if it still happens.

  6. ON [and next to?] – Limp if only on! I have encouraged the release of Red legs on one SSSI to feed Hen Harriers in winter. Cropping is another area where Hen Harriers are moving to in winter to feed on rats, mice and birds.

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