Wild Justice to take on Natural Resources Wales over general licences
Wild Justice, the non-profit legal entity set up by Chris Packham CBE, Dr Ruth Tingay and Dr Mark Avery, has announced that it is to formally challenge Natural Resources Wales (NRW) over its issuing of general licences allowing the ‘lethal control’ of wild animals.
The legal organisation had previously been in contact with NRW regarding those licences issued in early 2019, which were revoked pending a review. However, the Welsh government-sponsored body – which is charged with ensuring that the environment and natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained and used – issued new licences on 1 January this year.
Wild Justice’s three directors – Chris Packham, Mark Avery and Ruth Tingay – are calling on Natural Resources Wales to revoke the 2020 general licences.
Wild Justice contends that in issuing the 2020 replacement licences, NRW has failed to rectify the legal defects in the 2019 licences. As such the organisation has instructed its solicitor Leigh Day to write to NRW challenging the decision to issue the 2020 licences.
Wild Justice is questioning the legality of the general licences on a number of points, such as the inclusion of Carrion Crow, Jay and Magpie under the licences. There is no published scientific evidence that these species cause damage or harm to livestock or crops.
Wild Justice is calling on NRW to revoke the current licences. It’s three directors have stated that should this not happen “we intend to apply for permission for judicial review of their issuing of general licences. If we do this then we will need to raise funds for such a legal case.”
This action follows a similar challenge to Natural England on the issuing of general licences in England. This successfully resulted in forcing the organisation to revoke such licences.