Last year conservation campaign group Wild Justice won another legal victory after challenging Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA) about its awful and unlawful General Licences for killing wild birds (see here).
As a result of that successful legal challenge (only possible thanks to a magnificent response to Wild Justice’s crowdfunder), DAERA provided written assurance that its flawed general licences would be replaced by interim licences and that a full public consultation would be launched in due course.
That promised public consultation has now finally emerged, after months of delays by DAERA. The consultation opened earlier this month and is due to close in ten days time on Thursday 21st July 2022.
Wild Justice is encouraging all its supporters to respond to this consultation, to ensure DAERA cannot simply slide backwards and claim that nobody was interested.
For instance, Wild Justice is arguing that sparrows and starlings should NOT be killed ‘to protect livestock and crops’ because (a) there isn’t any scientific evidence to show these species have an impact; (b) General Licences for this purpose don’t exist anywhere else in the UK; (c) they’re both red-listed species(!) and (d) in the unlikely event that evidence was found that these two species are damaging livestock and crops then an individual (e.g. one-off) licence could be applied for. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for including these two species on a General Licence where they would be killed in unlimited numbers.
Wild Justice has provided a very easy-to-follow guide on how to respond to the consultation and you can find that information here. Thank you.
If you’d like to see the results of the rapid reform of General Licences across the UK, brought about by Wild Justice’s legal challenges, supported by crowdfunding from the general public, this blog from Wild Justice provides a good analysis.
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