In a recent email newsletter, the campaigning group Wild Justice questioned why Defra had sought advice from GWCT in relation to General Licence GL43 - the licensing mechanism for gamebird releasing on or near some protected sites.
Wild Justice claimed that ‘this was hardly a source of expertise and hardly a neutral source of advice’. Given that:
- GWCT has undertaken and published more independently peer-reviewed science, in world-leading ecological journals on matters relating to gamebird releasing (including investigating negative impacts as well as positive ones) than any other organisation
- has run an internationally respected independent professional game and wildlife management consultancy service for over 80 years
- has experienced ecologists that have worked in many of the affected areas for over 30 years building up significant knowledge of the farms and local biodiversity
- sits on the Defra/APHA Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) gamebird sector technical working group and the Defra-Welsh Government-JNCC Avian Influenza Wild Bird Recovery Advisory Group,
it would perhaps have been more surprising if Defra had not sought advice from GWCT on technical matters relating to game and wildlife management and HPAI risk.
To find out more, please download our Gamebird Releasing Report and our comprehensive guidelines for sustainable gamebird releasing.