Natural England issue licence permitting the killing of 10 Buzzards

Shamefull England
We have just learned that Natural England have just issued a licence permitting the killing of 10 Buzzards to protect young pheasants-an alien species.
Natural England has issued a licence for buzzard control.
Natural England issued a licence last night permitting the control of up to 10 buzzards to prevent serious damage to young pheasants.
This is what 9 dead Buzzards look like
The licence is time-limited with stringent conditions and is based on the law, policy and best available evidence. It follows rigorous assessment after other methods had been tried unsuccessfully over a 5-year period.
It is stipulated that the licence must be used in combination with non-lethal measures and only on buzzards in and immediately around the animal pens – not on passing birds. These conditions are designed to make the licensed activity both proportionate and effective and we will continue to work with the applicant to assess this.
Killing wild birds without a licence from Natural England is illegal.

9 comments to Natural England issue licence permitting the killing of 10 Buzzards

  • Alastair Henderson

    I understood from the judicial review that the plaintiff had given up his business due to the predation of buzzards – licence having been consistently refused over several years?
    It would appear that he is back in business in anticipation of being granted this licence?
    To be granted a licence to ‘control’ 10 buzzards is excessive under any circumstance – I would have anticipated a smaller number for this first individual licence in order to assess the effectiveness of such ‘control’.
    There is no mention of trapping therefore shooting appears to be the preferred ‘control’ method. Trapping would allow relocation to be carried out.

  • Northern Diver

    In my opinion, this case, which had the backing of the National Gamekeepers Organisation, is merely a test case to pave the way for other gamekeepers & their ilk to apply for licences to kill previously protected birds of prey.

    To allow the killing of native birds to maximise the numbers of an introduced species which are then later killed for sport seems a complete hypocrisy.

    Natural England should hang it’s collective head in shame. Anyone who works for them should resign immediately – or are they too scared of losing income/pensions etc?

    Everyone who cares should protest loudly to MPs; Natural England and anyone else with authority to change this decision.

  • Albert Ross

    I totally agree with Northern Diver.
    This is a national disgrace and the thin end of a very large wedge.
    Pheasants are hardly endangered and are just a crop to be harvested. Is it now proposed to issue licences to kill all species that reduce the economic yield of all crops?
    Total disgust. UnNatural England are not fit for purpose!

  • As my MP, I am asking NO DEMANDING, that you take this up in parliament to reverse the license issued by Natural England for the killing of 10 Buzzards in Northumberland. As I have personally run a pheasant pen for a local shoot I know that Buzzards are no threat and if they were then I would have to erect a net over my pen. I am aware that this license has been given regardless of this man’s lack of experience in running a pheasant shoot.

    With Wildlife Tourism now under threat from shooting activities £millions is now being destroyed from local economies restricting employment especially in the countryside.

  • Trapit

    Unless these are unique Buzzards, specialising in Pheasants, I would assume this licence will have to be renewed every year. Not a good advert for the shooting industry. I would like to know some more details of this shoot, such as acreage, numbers of birds released, numbers claimed killed by Buzzards etc. .

    Editor’s Comment. We will forward a Freedom of Information request to Natural England as soon as possible asking for an answer to the points you raised.

  • ros berrington

    Natural England are showing their complete lack of commitment to tackle wildlife crime and the illegal persecution of raptors by granting this license.We all know the amount of effort that is needed to bring even the most prolific raptor killers to justice yet here are N.E issuing licenses that will legalize this killing.They are not fit for purpose and this proves they are much happier protecting the interests of the shooting elite than protecting our precious native wildlife.

  • Anonymous

    Some people on here need to look beyond their wingtips and learn a little more about the case and appreciate some of the issues around it.

    Let’s not overlook the fact that Natural England has been fighting off this try-on for five years, spending your money and mine (as taxpayers). In the end, the High Court reached its decision, based on law, and NE had no choice but to comply and issue the licence. Believe me, it will not have been done willingly. There really is no alternative in the face of a High Court ruling – can you imagine what would happen if a quasi-Government body refused to obey the law of the land? The criticism from the public, however well-intentioned, would have been nothing compared to the penalties and retribution resulting from defiance of a High Court ruling.

    The other crucial part of the case is an anomaly in the law which classes reared game-birds as livestock, like sheep and cows. This would be in view of the fact that an owner has to pay for the eggs/young and invests resources in rearing them. This affords them protection under the law, which wild animals do not enjoy. The difference is that sheep and cows would never be released into the wild to fend for themselves, as this class of ‘livestock’ is. In essence, the law is an ass – which is also livestock!

    NE has suffered from this Government’s antipathy towards quangos of any sort, let alone those which might be perceived as standing in the way of economic development and business. This is evidenced by the swingeing spending cuts, severe staff losses and heavy ‘direction’ from Defra. There is no guarantee that it will continue to exist at all in the current climate, so who will fight then? Every bit of criticism sent to MPs or Ministers adds to the (spurious) argument for sweeping it away altogether, which will not be helpful to the causes we all share and hold dear.

    It is interesting to observe that NE was instructed to clear all its Press Releases with Defra before issue and instructed to keep its head down and do nothing to raise its public profile and gain popular support. More recently, it has lost its own Press Office and all that work is now handled by Defra.

    I note that one of the spokesmen from the ‘sporting’ interests was appointed to the Nature Conservancy Council by Nicholas Ridley – a decision resting entirely with Ministers and outside NCC’s control.

    So, let’s harass our elected representatives but not to criticise NE but to press for a change in the law, declassifying as livestock the 51 million reared game-birds released annually, and urge them to support existing wildlife legislation, the future shape of which is unclear after Brexit.

    And no, I don’t work for NE but have an understanding of what goes on behind the scenes.

    Editor’s Comment As requested we have posted your comment without divulging your real name. We also thank you for providing your very interesting and helpful comment, we hope that this may explain one or two issues involved in this political game of cat and mouse.

  • Albert Ross

    OK. Thanks to the anonymous contribution for the clarification.
    So we must live with the Court ruling if that is the law. (pending getting another ruling that reared pheasants are not ‘livestock’ in the true sense.)

    But working within the law cuts both ways as Shakespeare showed in the Merchant of Venice. Now will NE please police the working of this licence to the letter and ensure not one drop of blood is taken with the pound of flesh?
    ANY evidence of non compliance to be prosecuted vigorously and to be used as grounds for no further licence to be issued.

  • ros berrington

    yes that is a fair comment and just shows the complex machinations of our statutory bodies.When I contact Defra I am usually referred back to N.E to deal with my issues as Defra clearly want to remain as anonymous as possible.I have tackled them before about not signing the emails they send me.
    However N.E are the first point of contact for these issues and I am sure complaints against them are fed back to their bosses in the shadows.All these organizations are not fit for purpose in my view but that is not to say there are not decent people working within them.