Defra announces protection of wildlife sites from release of millions of gamebirds
Environmental campaign group Wild Justice has today welcomed measures announced by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ensure that wildlife sites in England are protected from the impact of the annual release of millions of non-native gamebirds.
Posted on 30 October 2020
- Adding the Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which contains species which cause ecological, environmental or socio-economic harm. This means that those species can only be released under licence and to do otherwise would be a criminal offence.
- Bringing in a general licence which will permit releases of the two gamebird species away from protected wildlife sites but not on them or near them (within 500m is proposed, subject to consultation) unless a number of licence conditions are met. For example, there will be limits to the numbers of birds that can be released under the General Licence.
- Monitoring by Natural England of a large number of sites to ascertain the extent of damage caused by non-native gamebirds.
Wild Justice granted permission to apply for Judicial Review into impact of release of gamebirds
Environmental group Wild Justice has been granted permission to apply for a Judicial Review of the Secretary of State for the Environment's failure to take steps to assess the impact of the release of more than 50 million gamebirds on protected sites in England and Wales.