Natural England rejects claims it ‘dragged out’ bird-kill licence withdrawal

Natural England has rejected claims from lawyers that it continued to resist a legal claim seeking to overturn the system of discretionary bird-kill licensing even though it knew for two months that the claim was ‘indefensible’.

Natural England announced in late April it was revoking three general bird kill licences permitting the killing of 16 bird species, including many corvids such as jays, rooks and jackdaws.

The decision, which caught licence holders off guard, followed a challenge from environmental campaigner Chris Packham’s legal outfit, Wild Justice, which maintained the general licensing approach was unlawful.

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