Natural England 'cocked-up’ bird shooting licences

‘Natural England cocked-up’ amid row over bird shooting licences

Natural England revoked the licence that covered the shooting of 16 species of birds

Monday, April 29, 2019

The chief executive of the Countryside Alliance has said that Natural England had “cocked-up” with their bird-shooting licences.

The licence allowed the shooting of birds such as carrion crows, wood pigeons, magpies and Canada geese, but were revoked by Natural England - the government's adviser for the natural environment in England - after they were threatened with legal action by environmentalists, including presenter Chris Packham.

As a result, protesters have targeted the wildlife presenter, hanging dead crows outside his home.

However, Countryside Alliance's Tim Bonner told talkRADIO's Mike Graham that Natural England's ruling was a "complete knee-jerk reaction" which will negatively impact on farmers who used the licences to shoot "pest" species.

"We have got lambs on the ground that need to be protected from crows and spring crops coming through," he said.

Chris Packham and his conservationist group, Wild Justice, had claimed that Natural England's bird-killing licences did not comply with animal welfare requirements.

Mr Bonner added: "Chris Packham brought a legal case because Natural England cocked-up and they should have been doing regular assessments to make sure that everything was being done properly. They had not done that.

“The first duty of Natural England is to ensure people can carry on managing the countryside. They failed and it is very disappointing."

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