Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
General licences: survey marks new phase of review
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers yesterday (12 September) launched a public survey as part of a planned review of general licences to manage wild birds in England.
The aim of the review is to ensure the licensing system is 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 and for conservation purposes. Defra is leading this review in close partnership with Natural England.
As a first step, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has launched a 12-week online survey to gather evidence on the control that stakeholders consider is required under general licence. This is one strand of the review, with a series of stakeholder workshops also planned to run in parallel.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers yesterday said:
I completely understand the scale of interest in this important issue and the real concern of users who need to have confidence in the licensing system.
Working closely with Natural England, this survey is an important step in our wider review of general licences.
I want to encourage users and other interested parties to take part in the process. This will help us ensure our licences strike the right balance between the protection of wild birds and the important actions users need to take to protect livestock or crops, and for conservation purposes.
The review was announced earlier this year when Defra issued three new short-term licences to control wild birds to conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (WML GL34); preserve public health or public safety (WML GL35); and prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (WML GL36).
The survey will focus on the purposes covered by these three general licences. All information submitted will be considered alongside evidence received during Defra’s shorter call for evidence held in Spring 2019, which highlighted some areas where evidence is currently lacking. This survey therefore builds on that call for evidence, asking for more specific information to feed into the development of a future licensing system.
In parallel with the survey, Defra and Natural England will be conducting a series of workshops with interested groups in the autumn, covering particular topics such as activity on protected sites.
Natural England’s interim chief executive Marian Spain yesterday said:
Our aim has always been to ensure that there is a robust licensing system in place which takes into account the needs of people and wildlife.
We look forward to continuing to work closely with Defra and with stakeholders and users on the ground to help achieve this.
- On 25 April 2019, following a legal challenge by Wild Justice, Natural England revoked three general licences which enabled users to kill or take certain species of wild birds (GL04, 05 and 06).
- The general licences subsequently issued by Defra on 14 June (GL34, 35 and 36) were designed to give certainty to users while we reviewed the longer term general licensing requirements.
- This review of the three general licences, in partnership with Natural England, aims to ensure that the general licensing regime is robust and meet user needs. Building on the responses received during the brief call for evidence into general licences in May 2019, a wider and longer period of consulting and engaging stakeholders is an essential part of this review.
Latest News from
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Recreational sea anglers are calling for greater consideration of their needs and better regulation of commercial fishing practices, says new study.05/08/2020 14:20:00
New research by Substance and Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), funded by Defra, has provided insight into what recreational sea anglers value most when considering fisheries management.
Coronavirus: £100m Zoo Animals Fund opens for applications04/08/2020 11:20:00
The £100m Zoo Animals Fund, announced on 27 June, is now open for applications from zoos and aquariums.
Plastic carrier bag sales slashed by more than 95% since 5p charge introduced31/07/2020 08:10:00
Latest data shows a 59% drop in plastic carrier bag sales in the last year alone in main supermarkets, with charities receiving nearly £180 million since 2015.
Work starts on £6m river clean-up project30/07/2020 14:20:00
The Environment Agency and Coal Authority has started work on Nent Haggs Mine Water Treatment Scheme to address a harmful legacy of the industrial revolution.
Circular economy measures drive forward ambitious plans for waste30/07/2020 13:38:00
The Circular Economy Package includes a target to recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2035 and measures to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill or incinerated.
Two reappointments and four extensions to the Board of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew28/07/2020 16:10:00
Sarah Flannigan and Jantiene T. Klein Roseboom van der Veer have been reappointed as Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Val Gooding, Ian Karet, Michael Lear and Derek Myers terms have been extended for six months.
Equine owners urged to microchip horses ahead of 1st October deadline28/07/2020 13:38:00
Microchipping will help ensure that irresponsible owners are rightly held accountable and owners can be more easily reunited with lost or stolen horses.
COVID-19 confirmed in pet cat in the UK28/07/2020 11:20:00
The virus responsible for COVID-19 has been detected in a pet cat in the UK.