by Countryside Alliance

Defra have initiated a call for evidence to seek views on the use of the General Licences for the management of certain birds in a bid to satisfy users that there will be a quick and efficient solution.

The Countryside Alliance is asking all members and supporters that rely on the General Licences to contact Defra with specific examples and case studies of economic, biodiversity or other losses because of Natural England’s decision. If possible, the use of videos and photos will help Defra understand the extent of the issue and the difficulty in describing the actual losses, that have for decades been prevented because of the licences.

It is more than odd that two weeks after the General Licences were revoked by Natural England, Defra have decided now is the time to consult on the decision and how to deal with the immediate issues. Whilst this is obviously entirely the wrong way round it does suggest that Defra has accepted that the handling of the General Licence issue thus far has been far from acceptable.

Our priority, and what our members and supporters require, is an efficient and light touch set of General Licences that allow us to lethally control certain wild birds. To succeed in this task, we require your help to respond to Defra’s call for evidence.

Defra are specifically asking for:

  • evidence and/or experience of the requirement for the continuation of the revoked General Licences
  • evidence and/or experience for the problems that have already occurred and will occur as a direct result of their decision to revoke the General Licences
  • Specific examples of loss

Click here to submit evidence

The Countryside Alliance will be responding in detail to Defra’s call for evidence. We will be focusing as always on the political consequences of this decision and the requirement for a clear and concise decision moving forward. Daily communication with Natural England and Defra continues to ensure light is seen at the end of the tunnel.

We ask all those willing to have their voices heard to do so politely and to keep answers concise, the closing date for evidence is 5pm on Monday 13 May. Please contact Defra directly on, cc’ing in

We have been given assurances that all names and addresses will remain confidential in the case of a Freedom of Information 2000 request. If you wish for your whole response to remain confidential please clearly state so.

For the latest information on the General Licences that have been implemented please visit the Countryside Alliance website.


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