Have your say on general licences

Airgun shooters are urged to take part in a public survey to shape the way pest birds are controlled in England

The study is part of a review that is being led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which said any new licensing system must be “robust, striking the right balance between the protection of wild birds and the activities people such as landowners and farmers need to carry out for specific purposes, such as protecting livestock or crops or for conservation purposes”.

The review was announced earlier this year when Defra issued three new short-term licences, under which the collared dove can no longer be controlled. The survey is asking for specific information about how shooters believe they should be able to manage wild birds, and their views will be used to help develop the future licensing system.

Organisations including BASC and the Countryside Alliance want shooters to help ensure the new general licences will be fit for purpose, simple and easy to understand.

BASC head of policy Dr Conor O’Gorman said: “Your evidence counts. Engaging in the process is hugely important. The more of you making their views known, the louder the voice of the shooting community.”

Defra’s Wild Birds General Licence Survey closes on 5 December.

You can take part by following this link: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-management/wild-birds-general-licence-survey.

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