New general licences “workable”, BASC tells BBC

An on air light

BASC this morning told the BBC that the new general licences issued by Defra last week are workable.

Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity, told listeners of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme that the new licences have provided “something which is workable for the majority of people through the bulk of England”.

He said: “We’ve now got three general licences for multiple species and it’s going to allow the control that’s needed in the wider environemnt in a fit-for-purpose way, so from that perspective they’re very good. Well done Defra for listening.”

Mr Danby told the programme that a consultation later in the year would deal with things that “aren’t so great”, for example the issue of protected sites.

He said: “I would say from a certain perspective these licences are quite similar to the ones we’ve had since 1992 onwards but we’re not back where we started because they’ve gone through a legal challenge earlier this year and the licences are different; they don’t cover all the species that were issued at the beginning of the year so they have made some changes and that will be the subject of the consultation later this year for sure.”

The BBC Radio 4 programme can be heard here (from three minutes 30). 

Read BASC’s response to the publication of the new Defra general licences here.