Landowners to Gove: Give us new general bird kill licences free of burdens

“Gold-plating and mission creep” has led to the “current chaos” surrounding Natural England’s withdrawal of three general bird control licences, which should be replaced with lighter touch permits, according to landowning and shooting groups.

Natural England revoked the general licences in April in the face of legal action and issued a number of bird-specific licences in their place, a move which led to criticism of the regulator and prompted environment secretary Michael Gove to take on the licensing function himself.

In a joint letter to Gove, dated 14 May, nine organisations, including the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Countryside Alliance, the British Game Alliance and the National Farmers Union, said the replacement licences were “not fit for purpose” and set out a number of demands.

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