Gove: Natural England’s reaction to bird-kill fiasco ‘fell short’

DEFRA took control of the general bird-kill licence scheme from Natural England because the wildlife regulator’s handling of it was substandard, the environment secretary has told a group of MPs.

Michael Gove appeared before the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee yesterday to defend the actions taken by DEFRA, following Natural England’s revocation of general licences in April. The licences allow the killing of certain birds such as corvids. 

While Gove defended the replacement licences, which have been in force since mid-June, he told the committee that DEFRA took over the responsibilities of the scheme because Natural England's process after revoking the general licence scheme “fell short”.

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