Another (former) gamekeeper jailed for depraved animal fighting cruelty

A number of blog readers sent me links about the conviction of a former gamekeeper who was jailed on Friday for depraved animal fighting cruelty.

Luke Rix, 32, of Gilks Lane, Oxhill, Warwickshire, was jailed for 18 weeks and banned from keeping dogs for ten years after video evidence was found of him stabbing a wild boar and then encouraging two of his dogs to attack it in the Forest of Dean. He was also ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

This conviction has been widely reported in the press (e.g. see here, here, here, here).

What struck me about this case was that it centred around video evidence from Rix’s iPad, which had been discovered by his (now ex) girlfriend who reported it to the RSPCA. A joint search at a property in Gloucestershire last year resulted in a number of items being seized, including Kevlar body armour for dogs and videos and photos showing dogs ripping apart a fox, dogs with injuries, terriers tormenting a caged rat, and discussions of boar, badger and fox hunting, and conversations with people on social media regarding his hunting exploits.

Many of the media reports included the fact that Rix was a former gamekeeper but none of them detailed when or where.

An RSPCA lawyer is quoted from court, saying that the evidence against Rix showed “this is a game to him which he will glorify by filming“.

It reminded me of the ‘trophy’ photographs that resulted in the recent conviction and jailing of another gamekeeper, Rhys Davies from Millden Estate, for horrific animal fighting crimes (see here).

And it’s not just filming – a number of gamekeepers have been found with leg rings from birds of prey, which could also be considered as ‘trophy’ items. For example, this convicted gamekeeper from Moy Estate was found in possession of a jar containing the leg rings of four young golden eagles but couldn’t account for how the jar ended up on his mantlepiece; and convicted gamekeeper Archie Watson from Wiltshire, who was found with the leg rings from a buzzard and a red kite attached to his keyring, which could only have been removed if the birds’ legs had been broken, according to the prosecution. Watson gave an implausible explanation to the court that he’d found them whilst metal-detecting on his uncle’s farm.

What is it that drives these sadists, not only to carry out these sick crimes, but also to film them and/or keep a trophy?

March for the Foxes, in Edinburgh today

REVIVE coalition partners OneKind and the League Against Cruel Sports are joining forces with Scottish Badgers today for a demonstration at the Scottish Parliament, calling for a ban on snares and a real ban on foxhunting.

OneKind had planned to host a demonstration against snaring in September (here) but the event was postponed after the death of the Queen. Now they’ve joined forces with the League Against Cruel Sports & Scottish Badgers, to send a strong message to the Scottish Government that the public supports a ban on snaring and also a real ban on fox hunting.

The groups will gather at St Giles Cathedral, Royal Mile (EH1 1RE) at 12 noon to march down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament building where a number of speakers will address the crowd, finishing at 2pm.

Full details available here

Thousands of snares are deployed on game-shooting estates every year, which maim and kill animals in order to protect stocks of red grouse, pheasants and partridge for ‘sport’ shooting. It’s currently legal to snare some species (e.g. foxes), despite the inhumane method, but as snares are indiscriminate up to 80% of species caught are non-target species, according to DEFRA figures, and these species include badgers, otters, deer and pet cats and dogs. This shocking report from the REVIVE coalition for grouse moor reform provides more detail.

This demonstration is timed to coincide with the Scottish Government’s current review of snaring legislation and OneKind’s CEO Bob Elliot has written an excellent account of why a ban is needed and how this demo could help achieve that aim (see here).

Grouse shooting lobby quietly seething over proposed licensing scheme

Following on from yesterday’s news that the Scottish Government has finally launched a public consultation on its proposed grouse moor licensing scheme in an attempt to address the ongoing issue of illegal raptor persecution, amongst other things (here), the grouse shooting lobby is quietly seething in response.

A joint statement has been issued by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC), the Scottish Countryside Alliance, the Scottish Association for Country Sports, Scottish Land & Estates, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) and Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups (basically the gamekeepers again, and ironically many of these regional moorland groups either have been recently, or currently are, under investigation for alleged raptor persecution).

The statement reads:

The introduction of yet another layer of legislation, regulation and bureaucracy must not hamper what is a world-class rural business sector. Done wrongly, licensing could put at risk much-needed rural employment, as well as the outstanding conservation work undertaken on a daily basis by moorland managers.

Licensing grouse shooting is ostensibly aimed at tackling raptor persecution, but it is abundantly clear that over many years a massive amount of progress has been made in dealing with this issue and incidents are at a historic low – progress that has been recognised by the Scottish Government.

We are also concerned that the licensing of Muirburn – the controlled burning of heather – could, done wrongly, infringe upon efforts to combat devastating wildfires and promote carbon capture.

When all this is taken into consideration, it is difficult to see why licensing is necessary – and that is why our organisations have been opposed from the outset.

We do, however, acknowledge the political reality that Scottish Government has the power to license grouse shooting and muirburn. It is vital that these licensing schemes are proportionate, transparent and workable. If a scheme were to be overbearing, it would threaten so much good work.

Grouse moor management is playing a key role in tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss. It also provides widespread direct and indirect employment, and contributes to Scotland’s diverse tourism offering. This should not be disadvantaged and any licensing schemes introduced should be straightforward to operate and not detrimental to rural enterprise.

All our organisations will participate in the consultation and make our case clear.

ENDS

[Chris Packham holds a dead male hen harrier, killed after its leg was almost severed in an illegally set trap that had been placed next to his nest on a Scottish grouse moor (see here). Photo by Ruth Tingay]

They just don’t get it, do they?

Their constant denial (e.g. see here for the most recent absurd claim) about the scale of illegal raptor persecution, and their consistent failure to bring it under control, over many, many years, is what has led to their current predicament. And yet still they’re claiming that ‘progress has been made’ and that the Scottish Government ‘recognises’ this ‘progress’.

Really? Give it up, chaps, you’ve been caught with your pants down too many times.

Have a read of the Scottish Government’s Environment Minister’s statement in 2020 when she announced that there could be no further delay to the introduction of a grouse moor licensing scheme because:

“…despite our many attempts to address this issue, every year birds of prey continue to be killed or disappear in suspicious circumstances on or around grouse moors“.

And then read the Environment Minister’s foreword in the latest official report on wildlife crime, published in April 2022, where you’ll see that the Government recognises that illegal raptor persecution is still a massive problem, hence the introduction of this new legislation designed to hammer several dozen nails into the coffins of the criminals responsible.

The grouse shooting lobby says, “…..it is difficult to see why licensing is necessary…..”

If ever there was an example of wilful blindness…

REVIVE coalition cautiously welcomes Scot Gov’s consultation on grouse moor licensing

Further to the news today that the Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on its proposals for a grouse-shooting licensing scheme (here), REVIVE, the coalition for grouse moor reform, has cautiously welcomed the proposals.

The statement, published on REVIVE’s website (here) notes that ‘the consultation is the start of a process which will significantly change the way in which large areas of Scotland are managed, making it one of the biggest interventions in this area for generations’.

Campaign Manager Max Wiszniewski is quoted:

We are pleased the Scottish Government has recognised the need to legislate the way in which Scotland’s grouse moors are managed. This is a woefully under-regulated industry which has been left to effectively wreak havoc on our countryside.

The proposed Bill will address the serious issues which over generations have been allowed to create a circle of destruction around huge areas of our land, managed for grouse which are then shot for entertainment.

While the REVIVE Coalition welcomes the consultation, we are disappointed the scope of the exercise isn’t wider. We look forward to working with the Government to bring forward a robust, and long overdue piece of legislation which has the potential to address all elements of the circle of destruction surrounding Scotland’s grouse moors.

REVIVE will submit a considered response to the consultation, which closes on 14th December 2022.

The REVIVE coalition comprises the League Against Cruel Sports (Scotland), OneKind, Common Weal, Friends of the Earth (Scotland) and Raptor Persecution UK.

Grouse moor management in Scotland: Government launches public consultation

Today, the Scottish Government has launched a public consultation as the start of its commitment to introduce a licensing scheme for grouse moor management, following the publication of the Werritty Review in 2019, which was commissioned in 2017 after unequivocal evidence was published of the on-going illegal killing of golden eagles on some Scottish grouse moors.

That illegal killing continues, as evidenced by this young golden eagle recently found poisoned on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park laying next to a dead mountain hare that had been used as the poisoned bait (photo by RSPB Scotland).

As is so often the case, nobody has been charged or prosecuted for this hideous wildlife crime, which is a fundamental reason why the Govt is introducing a licencing scheme, presumably as a means of sanctioning an estate (by withdrawing its licence) when evidence of wildlife crime is discovered. Without knowing the exact details of how the licensing scheme will operate, it’s impossible at this stage to predict its effectiveness. There are many sceptics, and I’m one of them, but I’m also certain that the status quo is untenable and so I view licensing as a step in the right direction, but definitely not the end of the road.

The Government’s licensing consultation preamble reads as follows:

‘A Stronger & More Resilient Scotland: The Programme for Government 2022-23 which was published on the 8 September 2022 committed to introducing the following Bill:

Wildlife Management (Grouse)

The Bill will implement the recommendations of the Werritty Review and introduce licensing for grouse moor management to ensure that the management of driven grouse moors and related activities is undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Bill will also include provisions to ban glue traps.

In November 2020, the Scottish Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Grouse Moor Management Group (“Werritty review”).  That report was commissioned by the Scottish Government in response to a report from NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage), published in May 2017, which found that around a third of satellite-tagged golden eagles in Scotland disappeared in suspicious circumstances, on or around grouse moors.

The Werritty review made over 40 recommendations regarding grouse moor management. The recommendations, which were accepted by the Scottish Government, seek to address raptor persecution and ensure that the management of grouse moors is undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner.

As well as proposals relating to grouse moor management, this consultation also considers glue traps. A report from the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, published on 23 March 2021 stated that

‘……the animal welfare issues connected with the use of glue traps would justify an immediate outright ban on their sale and use. This is our preferred recommendation‘.

This consultation is therefore seeking your views on the Scottish Government’s proposals on:

*Grouse moor licensing

*Muirburn

*Trapping (wildlife traps, glue traps, snares)

You can complete all the sections in the consultation or only those sections which are of interest/relevance to you’.

ENDS

The Government’s proposals for its grouse moor licensing scheme are laid out here:

I haven’t yet looked at the consultation paper so I can’t offer any comments or suggested responses yet but I will do very soon. The consultation will close on 14th December 2022.

The link to the consultation questionnaire can be found HERE.

UPDATE 26th October 2022: REVIVE coalition cautiously welcomes Scot Gov’s consultation on grouse moor licensing (here)

UPDATE 27th October 2022: Grouse shooting lobby quietly seething over proposed licensing scheme (here)

Raptor persecution crime fighters win national awards

I attended the UK Wildlife Crime Conference over the weekend, where law enforcers, statutory agencies and NGOs gather to hear the latest views, approaches, successes and challenges of combating wildlife crime in the UK. 

A feature of this annual event is the WWF-sponsored awards given to those whose work deserves national recognition.

This year, I was delighted to see two of those awards being won by teams whose work has focused on tackling the illegal persecution of birds of prey.

First up was Dr Eimear Rooney and Dr Marc Ruddock from the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group, who won WWF Wildlife Crime Partner of the Year 2022:

To say their award was richly deserved is a massive understatement. I’ve watched them pour their hearts and souls into raptor conservation in Northern Ireland for many, many years and I can’t think of more deserving recipients.

Without their efforts, providing help, advice and training to an army of raptor monitoring volunteers, as well as doing their own fieldwork, as well as writing grant applications, as well as writing reports, as well as producing educational material, as well as fundraising, as well as hosting conferences, as well as political engagement, as well as engaging in multi-partner initiatives to tackle raptor persecution, often at the expense of spending time with their young families, and still managing to be the most upbeat and fun-loving people to be around, then raptors in Northern Ireland would be in a far more perilous state than they are currently.

I’m thrilled to see their efforts recognised at long last; well done Eimear & Marc!

The second team to win an award for its work tackling raptor persecution was a multi-agency team working on ‘Operation Tantallon’, which is a huge, ongoing investigation into the alleged theft and laundering of wild peregrines in Scotland and northern England.

This investigation team includes Police Scotland, Scottish SPCA, NWCU and SASA, with additional support from members of the Scottish Raptor Study Group. So far three people have been charged with offences, including a serving police officer (see here) and a part-time gamekeeper (here).

Members of Operation Tantallon received the Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year Award 2022 from Megan McCubbin (photo by Guy Shorrock):

The case is ongoing, the defendants are reportedly facing over 100 charges, and a wide range of investigative techniques have been deployed including surveillance, peregrine DNA analysis, searches under warrants, bankers warrants, cyber crime and the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The scale of this effort to bring a prosecution in a raptor persecution case is virtually unheard of in the UK and the ramifications, should the defendants be found guilty, will be huge. Further details of the case will be made available as the case progresses through the courts.

The dedication and determination of those involved in the multi-agency investigation has been outstanding and it’s good to see their hard work recognised. Well done, all!

Wild Justice legal challenge secures significant changes to General Licences in Northern Ireland

A legal challenge by conservation group Wild Justice has secured significant changes to General Licences issued for bird killing in Northern Ireland.

Last year, Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) was forced by Wild Justice to revoke its General Licences as they were unlawful. Interim licences have been in place since then whilst DAERA conducted a public consultation on revised licences, including questions about which species might be included and when the killing might take place.

Yesterday, DAERA announced its proposed changes to the three General Licences associated with bird killing, which are expected to be in place by the end of this year. Several species have been removed altogether from the licences (e.g. house sparrow, starling, great black-backed gull, lesser black-backed gull, herring gull) and other species have been removed from specific licences (e.g. hooded crow, rook, magpie, woodpigeon from TPG1, the licence permitting birds to be killed for the purpose of public health or safety; rook, jackdaw, three gull species, feral and woodpigeon from TPG3, the licence permitting birds to be killed for the purpose of conserving wild birds).

The full proposed changes are tabled here (although note that the carrion crow has been omitted from the proposed list, presumably by accident):

Another significant and welcome change is that TPG3 will only be available during the breeding season (defined as between 1 March – 31 August inclusive).

Wild Justice has written a blog about these proposed changes – see here.

Environmental law firm Leigh Day, representing Wild Justice, has also written a press release, as follows:

Wild Justice is celebrating success in its legal challenge to Northern Ireland’s general licences for the killing of wild birds.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has written to Wild Justice with a new limited list of birds to be covered by the general licences issued under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. Wild Justice has been campaigning for species to be taken off the general licences. The list now provided by DAERA is significantly shorter than in the current licences, bringing Northern Ireland into closer alignment with general licences in England and Wales – where Wild Justice has previously successfully fought for greater restrictions in general licences for bird killings.

Birds affected by changes to the licences are Hooded Crow, Rook, Feral Pigeon, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Jackdaw, Magpie, Rook, and Woodpigeon, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, and Starling. The position of Carrion Crow has yet to be confirmed by DAERA.

Following a legal campaign by Wild Justice, DAERA conceded last year that its general licences were unlawful and replaced them with interim licences pending a full consultation.

DAERA’s self-imposed deadline for a review of consultation responses and the issuing of new general licences was Monday 17 October.

Two days later it wrote to Wild Justice to confirm the licences would be in line with the changes that the environmental group had demanded to comply with legislation.

  • General Licence TGP/1/2021 – killing for the purpose of preserving public health or public safety
  • General Licence TGP/2/2021 – killing for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease and preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber and fisheries
  • General Licence TGP/3/2021 – killing for the purpose of conserving wild birds.

As a result of the challenge, TPG 1 now only covers the jackdaw and feral pigeon, TPG2 now covers hooded crow, rook, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, woodpigeon, TPG3 covers only hooded crow and magpie.

Wild Justice, represented by Leigh Day acting through their agent Phoenix Law, first raised concerns with DAERA about its approach to general licences for bird killings in May 2019, following a successful legal challenge to Natural England’s 2019 general licences.

Wild Justice wrote again to DAERA regarding serious flaws in its 2020 general licences, and asked them to revise those due to be issued in September 2021.

After DAERA issued new licences in September 2021 on precisely the same terms as the 2020 licences, and without any evidence to support the birds species included, Wild Justice sent a formal pre-action protocol letter challenging DAERA’s decision.

Wild Justice, led by Dr Mark Avery, Dr Ruth Tingay and Chris Packham CBE, welcome the decision on new general licences.

Wild Justice said:

“We regard this as a great victory – not just for Wild Justice but also for the other organisations who supported change and most notably those Wild Justice supporters who responded to the consultation. And most of all it is a victory for wildlife.”

Leigh Day Senior Associate Tom Short said:

“Our client welcomes confirmation from DAERA that the new general licences to be issued later this year will be substantially revised in line with what Wild Justice has sought. The changes are being made following Wild Justice’s successful legal challenge in last year. We hope these changes to licensing will significantly reduce the number of wild birds being unnecessarily killed”.

DAERA has also released summary information about its public consultation and it’s striking how many people interested in conservation and/or animal welfare wrote in support of changes to these three licences, in contrast to those interested in ‘countryside sports / land management’:

If you were one of those who responded to the public consultation, thank you and well done!

You might also be interested in this summary document released by DAERA, which provides a breakdown of the common responses to the consultation questions. Note how little evidence was provided by the ‘countryside sports / land management’ respondents who were trying to retain these species on their shooting lists:

RSPB calls for further regulation of gamebird shooting & better enforcement of existing rules

The RSPB has announced it is to call for further regulation of gamebird shooting and wants better enforcement of existing rules.

The announcement was made at its AGM on 15th October 2022 and follows on from an internal review process first initiated in October 2019 (e.g. see here, here, here and here).

The ‘announcement’ itself has all been a bit strange. A few days prior to the AGM, Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive, sent emails to a wide number of ‘stakeholders’ in both the conservation and shooting sectors, giving them a heads-up about the imminent announcement. Here’s what she said:

I just wanted to bring you up to speed on an announcement we will be making at our AGM later this week.

As you know, in 2020 the RSPB set out that in the current nature crisis, it is imperative to reduce the negative impacts of the release of non-native gamebirds . And, given the urgency of the crisis, we said we would call for stronger regulation if there was no significant progress, initially within 18 months, and latterly by October 2022.

Having now completed this assessment, we have seen little progress (albeit that gamebird numbers released this year have gone down due to avian flu and resultant problems importing birds from France).  There is a high degree of agreement between shooting and conservation organisations on what would constitute sustainable practices, but overall, there is a lack of evidence to show that this guidance is being followed and hence a lack of evidence for a reduction in negative impacts from gamebird releases. 

Our concern is about large-scale shoots, and not small-scale farm shoots, where there is often a net benefit for native wildlife.

Given this lack of progress towards a more sustainable gamebird shooting industry over decades and minimal signs of positive change for the future,we have concluded that further regulation and better enforcement of existing rules will be required to deliver the changes necessary in the face of a nature and climate crisis. 

This view is reinforced by evidence from other sectors on the widespread failure of voluntary approaches to deliver positive environmental change and is in line with the recommendations of a recent UN report, which recommended enhanced powers for authorities to use revokable licences for gamebird shooting where raptor persecution occurs. While there is still work to do on the detail of how additional regulation and enforcement can be used most effectively to deliver the changes we need to see, the direction of travel is clear. 

This change in our policy will be announced at our 2022 AGM this Saturday, but we wanted to ensure you had advance sight of the announcement.

With all good wishes,

Beccy

‘Someone’ from the shooting industry leaked the content of this email prior to the AGM, resulting in the publication of a vicious misrepresentation of the RSPB’s position on a number of pro-shooting websites.

The rest of us waited for the announcement at the AGM and then anticipated that the RSPB would issue a formal public statement on which we could base our commentary.

However, that statement hasn’t been issued. Don’t ask me why – I don’t understand why such a big position change by the RSPB has been handled in such a low key way, especially as this is a subject on which the RSPB has been criticised in the past, with many in the conservation sector frustrated at what has been widely perceived as a lack of RSPB backbone.

Anyway, the mystery of the RSPB’s publicity machine aside, I’m delighted to see the RSPB finally reach a decision on this issue and look forward to hearing further details, i.e. what new regulations it thinks are needed (it has alluded in the past to licensing) and what measures it thinks will be effective to increase the enforcement of current regulations.

Predictably, the gamebird shooting industry has over-reacted to the RSPB’s new position and two organisations (BASC here and the National Gamekeepers Organisation here) have called it an ‘attack’ on shooting and gamekeeping, with BASC even laughingly claiming the RSPB’s three-year review ‘is not based on evidence’.

On the contrary, it’s based on very carefully (and cautiously) assessed evidence, as you’d expect from the RSPB.

Blog readers are encouraged to watch this video from Jeff Knott (in his new position of RSPB Director of Policy and Advocacy), annoyingly tucked away on an obscure YouTube channel instead of being given some serious prominence by the RSPB’s PR machine.

Jeff’s commentary is measured, well-balanced and provides a coherent explanation about why the RSPB has beefed up its position on the regulation of gamebird shooting:

Management of Scottish grouse moors ‘must change radically’ to cut emissions from peatlands – Dr Richard Dixon

There was a good column in The Scotsman yesterday, written by Dr Richard Dixon, a campaigner and consultant with 30 years of environmental campaigning experience, including as Director of both Friends of the Earth Scotland and WWF Scotland.

It’s reproduced here:

We are in a Climate Emergency. The recent reports from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tell us that the impacts of climate change are already happening earlier and to a greater degree than predicted. They say there is a narrow window in time to do everything we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Scotland’s peaty soils contain vast amounts of carbon. Around a fifth of Scotland’s land area is covered in soils rich in peat and these contain nearly two billion tonnes of carbon. That is 25 times the amount in all the trees, shrubs and other vegetation in the whole of the UK.

When peatland areas are in good condition they form new peat and lock in carbon from the atmosphere. But when they are degraded they release carbon dioxide and methane – a greenhouse gas nearly 40 times worse than carbon dioxide in causing climate change. Around 80 per cent of Scotland’s peaty soils are degraded in some way, so how we manage them and particularly how we try to help them recover is vitally important at a local, national and global scale.

There has been much argument about the climate impact of the management of peaty areas of intensive grouse moors, particularly the issue of muirburn – routinely burning off old growth on heather moorland. A new independent report for the Revive Coalition looks in detail at the evidence and finds that there is surprisingly little information, partly because these activities on grouse moors are hardly regulated at all. We do not even know how much of our upland areas are burnt each year. There is a voluntary code on muirburn but the report reveals that actual practice is often observed to be in breach of this code.

The shooting industry claims muirburn helps prevent wildfires, which are an increasing risk because of climate change and which increase climate emissions. Revive’s report concludes, despite the paucity of evidence, that stopping even well-controlled muirburn would likely not increase overall carbon emissions and stopping badly done muirburn would be beneficial to the carbon balance. A partial ban in England introduced last year was supposed to protect areas of deep peat but a Greenpeace investigation found that 40 of the 251 fires they looked at were on areas identified by Natural England as having deep peat.

With greater global scrutiny coming on the contribution of the management of peat-rich soils to climate change, and the Scottish Government’s commitment to introduce licensing for grouse moors, this new report should be an urgent spur to make sure minimising climate emissions from muirburn and other activities should be an essential part of the new licence proposals’.

ENDS

Richard’s commentary is based on a new independent report authored by Dr Helen Armstrong and commissioned by REVIVE, the coalition for grouse moor reform. You can read it here:

REVIVE coalition for grouse moor reform well received by SNP & Scottish Greens conferences

Last week I wrote about how REVIVE, the coalition for grouse moor reform, had held a successful fringe event at the SNP’s annual conference (here).

REVIVE was also at the Scottish Green’s conference, receiving an equal amount of support from delegates and the Minister. There’s now a write-up on the REVIVE website about both these events (see here).

As we await the imminent (I’m told!) release of the Scottish Government’s consultation on grouse moor licensing, the next few months will be critical for political engagement, both by campaign groups and the public alike.

The consultation will feed into draft legislation which will then be subject to debate and amendments as the draft bill progresses through Parliament during this session, as set out recently in the 2022-2023 Programme for Government (see here).

REVIVE will be at the forefront of engagement so if you’d like to be kept informed you can sign up for information and updates here.

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