Following correspondence with Defra, BASC has received assurances that next year’s general licences for England will be drafted by October and made public in November prior to being enacted on 1 January 2021.
Defra has completed its analysis of its review and is currently consulting with Natural England before sharing its proposals with stakeholders.
BASC will be working hard to ensure the licences are fit for purpose and future-proof. There is still concern that unnecessary red tape surrounding protected sites (for example SSSIs) will limit the ability of general licences to work efficiently.
The general licence system was introduced to allow the control of legally-protected species with limited regulatory burden. BASC, along with other countryside organisations, will continue to fight for this ability to ensure wildlife management can take place where necessary.