No more red tape needed on gamebird releasing, BASC to tell Defra

BASC will tell Defra there is no need for any more regulation on the release of gamebirds after the government body set out details of a review into the way the release of the birds on protected sites is managed.

The review will look at areas including the number of gamebirds released and their impact on protected sites, the consenting process, and whether further safeguards could be provided to protect sites. There will be no immediate changes for owners or occupiers of land, Defra said.

Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “As an interested stakeholder, we will be engaging fully with the review. BASC is not aware of any adverse impact arising from the release of game birds that cannot be dealt with within the existing regulatory regime and we will be responding to Defra accordingly.

“BASC is an evidence and science-led organisation hence we have commissioned, alongside Natural England, a literature review to establish the impact of gamebird releasing on woodlands.

“We believe in sustainable shooting and we fully support the recommendations on release densities as set out in the Code of Good Shooting Practice.”

UPDATE 26/02/2020

Lawyers for the environmental group Wild Justice have announced that they have sought permission for a judicial review from the courts on Defra’s decision to review (26 January).

Information provided shows that Wild Justice has failed to fast track the process so will have to wait for Defra to form a defence prior to the decision on allowing a judicial review to go forward later in the year.

Caroline Bedell said:

“There is no certainty that Wild Justice will be granted permission to go to judicial review. BASC along with other shooting and rural organisations have applied to become an interested party.

“Members should continue to plan for the season ahead following Defra’s welcomed announcement of a review.”

The Code of Good Shooting Practice can be found here: http://www.codeofgoodshootingpractice.org.uk/

For more information on the Defra review, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defra-sets-out-review-into-releasing-gamebirds-on-protected-sites