BASC given permission to bring judicial review of Defra decision

partridge in frost

BASC has been granted permission by the High Court to bring a judicial review of Defra’s decision to withdraw the general licence (GL43) that allowed the release of gamebirds in certain areas of England.

BASC’s Fighting Fund is being used to support the High Court challenge.

BASC chief executive Ian Bell said: “The fact that a judge sitting in the High Court believes that we have a case, is positive news for our continuing talks with Defra to secure a workable system for releasing birds under general licence. Ministers should be in no doubt that we will pursue this case, as required, to achieve that end.

“The way in which this licence was withdrawn with scant notice placed businesses at risk and threatened jobs across large areas of England. By not consulting with the shooting organisations and issuing legally dubious guidance on culling the birds in the closed season, Defra threw shooting into turmoil at a critical time in the rural year. That must never happen again.

“We hope that as a result of this, Defra will be encouraged to change its processes for the better and that in future, proper engagement with the rural community will take place before any significant changes are introduced.”