The WAWC has today (13 May 2019) submitted its response to the call for evidence on the General Licences for England.  The short consultation by DEFRA followed the withdrawal in April of three licences in light of a challenge to their legality.

In its response, the WAWC has stated its belief that the recently-revoked General Licences (GL 04-06) were not fit for purpose, because:

  • All species of bird listed are considered sentient and thus have intrinsic value. GL04-06 did not take account of this.
  • All proposed interventions against wildlife should be tested against a suitable ethical framework and have an exit strategy. GL 04-06 did not provide for this.
  • Conservation activities that attempt to rely on the routine and repeated killing of the same species in the same location as provided for in GL 04-06, are not sustainable and are unethical.
  • Scrutiny of activities licensed under GL 04-06 was minimal and therefore there is little or no evidence of compliance.
  • Shooters authorised under GL 04-06 do not have to demonstrate competency in humane killing.
  • The taking and killing of wild birds using live capture, as provided for under GL 04-06, is inhumane and should be prohibited.

The WAWC has recommended that any new licences issued to replace the revoked licences in whole or in part should include provisions to address these criticisms.

Read the full submission here.