UPDATE – We are pleased to report that NRW have responded to Wild Justice saying that NRW considers that the general licenses issued on the 7th October 2019 and reissued on 1st January 2020 are lawful. Therefore, they will not be taking any steps to revoke the general licences.
On 3 February Wild Justice – the campaign group founded by Chris Packham, Mark Avery and Ruth Tingay – escalated their challenge of the use of General Licences in Wales. The group instructed its solicitors to write to Natural Resources Wales (NRW), claiming that “the 2020 Replacement Licences are in effect licences to cull without limit” and that the licences are unlawful.
Should NRW not respond in a fortnight, Wild Justice have reserved the right to launch a judicial review. Wild Justice have already laid the foundations to fundraise for further legal action. Last year, having taken legal advice, NRW made changes to the existing licences to ensure those issued in October 2019 were viable. These are the same licences reissued on the 1 January this year.
Sue Evans, GWCT director in Wales, notes: “With the nesting season approaching, I question the intention of Wild Justice in pursuing this when there are so many species at risk. These will only be damaged further if predator control is unavailable while Wild Justice continue to fight for restricting the control of pest species which continue to grow in number.”
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