The Telegraph has today (Thursday) incorrectly claimed Natural England is ‘to be stripped of responsibility for shooting licences’.
The online copy states the Environment Secretary has made the decision to take control of the introduction of new general licences for shooting some types of wild birds, after Natural England revoked three of the licences last week.
Natural England is working closely with Defra to find the best way to resolve the current situation with general licences. That is our priority.
A spokesman for the Environment Secretary said:
The Secretary of State has asked officials to urgently investigate the issues around general licensing.
He is also actively exploring with Natural England what options could fix the problem as swiftly as possible.
Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, said:
This action came out of a legal challenge, and I fully understand the frustration of users and our stakeholders about the uncertainty this has caused. It was not a decision Natural England took lightly, but we had to act within the law.
It is important to understand what lessons can be learned in the longer term. But our priority is to find the best way to resolve the current situation with general licences quickly and effectively. We are working closely with our stakeholders, including Defra, to understand the best way to do this.