320 buzzardBASC has welcomed Natural England’s decision to issue a licence for the control of up to 10 buzzards to prevent serious damage to young pheasants.

Natural England, the government’s licensing authority, has taken account of a recent High Court decision which accepted there is a need to balance the protection of wild birds against the requirement to prevent serious damage to livestock.

Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and deer management, said: “There are, quite rightly, strict criteria and tests to be met before the issuing of any license to control a protected species. Any control must not adversely affect the conservation status of a species.

“The buzzard population is increasing faster than virtually any other British bird. With over 60,000 pairs in the UK, the issuing of such a license clearly will not have an impact on overall numbers. It will, however, allow the control of a very small number of birds which are causing serious and specific damage to livestock.”

John Thornley OBE, vice-chairman of BASC council, said: “Natural England has carefully followed due process in making this decision. It should be noted the law has allowed for licences like this since 1981. It is a common sense decision which should be applauded.”


Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

Get the latest updates from BASC

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

* indicates required