New woodpigeon licence ‘not fit for purpose’, says BASC

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BASC has said the new general licence issued by Natural England for the control of woodpigeon to prevent serious damage to crops is not fit for purpose.
The licence was published at the same time as a new general licence for control of Canada geese ‘to preserve public health and safety’.
The licences were issued late on Friday night as replacements for the general licences revoked without consultation by Natural England on April 25.
BASC’s experts are examining the detail of the licences but have already expressed serious concerns about the terms and conditions of the woodpigeon document.
BASC chairman Peter Glenser QC said: “The rural organisations were unsighted on the woodpigeon general licence dropped on us late on Friday night, contrary to assurances from Natural England earlier in the week that our technical expertise would be used in the drafting of the document.
“On initial review of this licence, it is not fit for purpose. It has many of the same deficiencies as the new carrion crow general licence issued last weekend, is over-complicated and confusing.
“BASC and the other rural organisations will be pressing for significant changes to be made so that we can have a more effective licence in the short term and we will all expect to feed into any long-term review of these licences.”
BASC had delivered a two-page briefing to Natural England earlier in the week which highlighted the importance of woodpigeon control to rural England.