Your opportunity to help improve the Welsh General Licences – a guide to responding to NRW’s public consultation

The Welsh Government’s statutory nature conservation agency, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is currently hosting a public consultation on its proposed changes to the General Licences (the licences which permit the killing of certain bird species, in certain circumstances, typically for public health & safety, for the protection of crops and livestock, and for nature conservation purposes).

This consultation is a direct response to a successful legal challenge by Wild Justice (see here) who had argued that the previous General Licences were too loose and permitted too much ‘casual killing’ without lawful or scientific justification.

It’s good to see NRW reviewing the terms of the General Licences and it’s especially pleasing to see that the review includes suggested improvements to the regulations on trap use. There are, however, some idiotic proposals on the table. For example, NRW argues that it’s not planning to introduce a mandatory trap registration and tagging scheme because previously there has been ‘very little demand’ for trap registration by trap users!!!! Good grief, NRW! Of course the trap users aren’t going to want trap registration or a tag that could identify the trap operator, because then they’d be identifiable when a trap offence has been committed. Without an identification tag, the trap operator(s) can deny all knowledge and simple give a ‘no comment’ response to the police. That’s how they avoid prosecution, duh!

Birds of prey, especially buzzards, are accidentally caught inside crow cage traps because they’re attracted by the decoy bird or dead animals/food inside the trap. It’s not an offence to trap a bird of prey, but it is an offence for the trap operator not to release it, unharmed, within 24 hours. Some trap operators, particularly on game-shooting estates, do not release the trapped raptor and it dies in the trap. If there isn’t a tag on the trap identifying the trap operator, a prosecution is not possible. Photo by RSPB.

It’s now important that NRW hears from as many people as possible to encourage them to enact the good proposals for their General Licences and ditch the ridiculous ones.

The public consultation is open to anyone (e.g. you don’t have to reside in Wales to participate) and it’s available online until this Thursday, the 11th November.

Wild Justice has provided a helpful template for responding to the consultation and I’d urge as many of you as possible to please get involved and let NRW know the strength of feeling on the welfare and conservation of wild birds. This is NOT about trying to ‘shut down shooting’ or even to eradicate species control as many in the game-shooting industry are falsely claiming; this is about ensuring the General Licences are scientifically and lawfully appropriate, that trap operators are held to account, and that the General Licences no longer permit the casual killing of hundreds of thousands of birds.

Please visit the Wild Justice blog HERE for the suggested template and you’ll also find the link to NRW’s consultation there too.

Many thanks.

6 thoughts on “Your opportunity to help improve the Welsh General Licences – a guide to responding to NRW’s public consultation”

  1. Welsh document Completed.

    Best Wishes

    Rob Bonner

    On Mon, 8 Nov 2021 at 01:13, Raptor Persecution UK wrote:

    > RaptorPersecutionUK posted: ” The Welsh Government’s statutory nature > conservation agency, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is currently hosting a > public consultation on its proposed changes to the General Licences (the > licences which permit the killing of certain bird species, in cert” >

    1. Once again, the money talks, and the government just roll over yes sir whatever you want.
      It needs to Stop now, let’s stop the needless killing of birds of prey with no reason, and why on earth world these barbarian killers want to have to licence traps, this way they can kill with out a single comeback, of course they don’t want to be registered.
      These killers need to be stopped, and punishment should match the crimes, if I decided to shoot a buzzard, or any other bird of prey I would be punished, but when they do it its not even dealt with, not even a slap on the wrist, it is seen as an accident, tosh, they know exactly what will happen when they set traps with bait.
      as for gamekeepers, well they need to be the first ones punished, followed by the landowners, and then anyone with a gun on Morland murdering grouse should also be fined for any birds of prey killed over the grouse killing areas, if they all got punished the killing would stop, as it is they all claim accident, or it wasn’t me, and nothing is done.
      And then there is the so called fake fox hunting, it was not deliberate, the fox must have strayed into the path of the hounds chasing fox scent, what a crock of shite, wake up, the people who make the rules should also enforce them, strictly, and make it that people do not want to kill the protected species, for fear of the punishment, at the moment the no comment wins the argument, but if there was a blanket punishment for any birds or animals killed illegally and everyone involved was punished then it would stop.
      This innocent until proven guilty does not work wit animal crimes, they have learned how to disguise the evidence, and have been taught how to circumvent the law by people who have been supposed to be protecting these endangered species.
      Or here is an idea, if a bird of prey is murdered on or near a grouse shooting Moor then the licence should be removed for the duration of the killing season, this will make the gamekeepers, and landowners want to protect the birds instead of killing them to save the odd grouse from being a meal for the birds of prey, because the amount of grouse that escape anyway is not even worried about, but if a bird of prey takes one they want revenge, and kill the bird of prey.
      These people have no morals, no respect for the law, and don’t care anyway because they make an absolute fortune letting people murder slow moving fat birds which can not fly far, and they use shot guns because the spray of pellets at least one ball will hit the bird, so basically, they have absolutely no skills, and it’s purely because of the amount of shot that they hit anything, most of them would struggle to hit a barn door, but when it comes to a bird that uses just thermals to move about and is the size of a barn they take pot shots at them, it is disgusting that this still goes on.

      1. How can anybody be taken seriously,when they talk about animal murder.Animals cannot be murdered,they are killed,slain or culled.y

        1. The fact is, of course, that Homo sapiens belongs to the biological kingdom Animalia. Therefore, we’re all animals, but “Murder” is, as we’re all aware, a legal term: “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” So, strictly speaking, Dave is correct.
          However, in the real world, how should we define the act of killing another (non-human) animal for no other reason than amusement? Should we justify such acts simply for the fact that the victims aren’t Human? After all, those responsible for the Atlantic Slave Trade, and the Holocaust used the same (albeit false) excuse (but then the whole concept of species is one of Human invention).
          If, for the purpose of debate, we built an impenetrable barrier around the Equator, the Humans on either side could, given time, become reproductively isolated from each other, thus evolving (by one definition) into separate species. Would those on one side be justified in killing the others for entertainment because they simply weren’t the same?
          From a personal viewpoint, I regard those who set packs of dogs onto wild animals and cheer as they’re disembowelled alive, as one of the lowest forms of life on the planet. Does that justify me hunting them for fun? Of course not! So, from a legal standpoint, James is in error. Yet from a moral one….well that’s just a matter of semantics, isn’t it?

        2. That’s a pretty damning indictment – not of James’s misuse of the word but that you think that is the important thing there. Just how much do you want to trivialise the illegal killing of our wildlife and the unnecessary release of millions of gamebirds to damage the environment and impact on or natural wildlife so sick killers can get their jollies?

      2. The thing is, James, have you completed the consultation? (I have done mine… and it is not a trivial exercise, so many thanks to Mark Avery for his list of tips….)

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