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BASC is seeking urgent legal advice following the decision by Natural England (NE) to revoke three general licences in England for controlling certain wild birds from Thursday this week.

Like other rural organisations, BASC was only told about NE’s decision in a press release issued at 3:30pm on Tuesday.

BASC has issued the following further statement:

“BASC is appalled that Natural England has sprung this on the rural community without notice and without consultation at a critical stage in the farming and countryside management calendar.

“Despite our memorandum of understanding with Natural England, in none of our meetings or communications with Natural England has there been any discussion of this decision to remove the general licences.

“It is simply not acceptable to remove a key management tool for the countryside at such a critical time of the year. Quite rightly, the shooting and rural community is in uproar.

“BASC has already begun taking legal advice and hopes to be in a position to make a further announcement tomorrow.”

“Natural England’s decision to withdraw the open general licences will cause chaos and uncertainty in the rural community.

“To take such a step without consultation and proper notice is utterly unacceptable from a statutory body and leaves many people at risk of breaking the law at a crucial time of the year when their need to control pests could not be more pressing.”

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