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BASC chairman Peter Glenser QC has said the drafting of the new general licence issued by Natural England has been “shoddy and hurried” and the document is “not fit for purpose”.

BASC’s experts have been analysing the 11-page document and its supporting information since it was released by Natural England on Friday night.

BASC chief executive Ian Bell outlined his concerns around the failings in the new licence in a phone call to Natural England on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Glenser said: “We have been in contact with other leading rural organisations during Saturday and all our experts have been working very quickly to analyse the licence so that we could give some reassurances to the rural community.

“Having done that work, we are not able to give those assurances and we have told Natural England exactly that. We have to say that the shambles is continuing in the aftermath of Natural England’s appalling decision to withdraw the three original general licences without warning or consultation on Tuesday.

“Some of the content of the new licence for controlling carrion crows is, quite frankly, bizarre and we believe the licence in its current form is unworkable. We have real fears for the other licences which have yet to be released.”

Mr Bell said: “When I spoke to Natural England directly today I demanded they reintroduce the 2019 general licences that they took away without consultation. There is no time to delay in this, the rural community is desperate for answers and reassurance.”

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