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Defra review into releasing gamebirds on and around protected sites

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Red legged partridge. Credit NE


There has been coverage today (30 October) of Defra’s review into how gamebird releases on or near European protected sites in England are managed.

The review found that the negative effects of common pheasant and red legged partridge on protected sites tend to be localised.

As a result of the review, an interim licensing regime for 2021 has been proposed by the Environment Secretary. Conditions of the licensing regime relate only to specific local impacts on some protected sites. They are likely to include the number of birds, density of release and location of key infrastructure. This does not constitute a ban on the release of gamebirds.

Defra will consult with industry to minimise any disruption. Details of the consultation process will be announced shortly.

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:

The negative effects of gamebird releases on protected sites tend to be localised with minimal or no effects beyond 500m from the point of release.

However, our review highlighted a need to gain a better understanding of how any localised impacts might be mitigated and existing arrangements strengthened. The introduction of an interim licensing regime for next year will enable us to manage any potential impacts while gathering more information where evidence gaps exist. We will continue to engage and consult with industry in order to minimise any disruption.

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  1. Comment by Ross McMahon posted on

    How pathetic is this a government office surrendering to a rural terrorist organisation hell bent on destroying the countryside for personal financial gain and delighting in closing an industry worth 3 billion a year to the economy and potentially causing the unemployment of 74,000 people, and destroying 600,000 participants! Enough to people to sway a general election!
    The country is facing its largest economic catastrophe for a generation and these three Boy Scouts delight in destroying jobs, families and lives,

    • Replies to Ross McMahon>

      Comment by Maureen Hutchison posted on

      Which many people think are less important than preserving our environment for future generations.After all they can always get another job - hopefully in something more worthwhile than killing birds

      • Replies to Maureen Hutchison>

        Comment by Ross Mcmahon posted on

        Well if it’s what you perceive as killing being the problem I would focus on that cesspit of deception the RSPB they killed 1136 deer last year, 531 fox, 243 geese they even smashed gulls eggs.
        You could then look at the LACS who killed 102 deer by starving them to death in Somerset then a further 135 when they gave them TB calling in the hunt to dispatch them
        Both the above you can Google RSPB under “ when to use lethal force” on the site and LACS baronsmoor!
        Thereafter I suspect you don’t physically have a clue about the countryside and who are you to ask for so many lives to be destroyed in defence of your ignorance and reality denial.
        Just in closing consider that Chris Packaham arguably the most hated man in the countryside who hates hunting is vice of the RSPB and an active member of the LACS which puts blood on his hands probably funded by you!!!

  2. Comment by Maureen Hutchison posted on

    Its a ridiculous to say that effects of game birds are localised to within 500 m of the point of release.Also appears very biased to say that the any disruption to the industry must be minimised.There is a vast amount of evidence of the harm done to the environment by the release of invasive alien species of birds

    • Replies to Maureen Hutchison>

      Comment by Norman Murray posted on

      could you show an unbiased report on this environmental damage or an example of some damage to the environment.

    • Replies to Maureen Hutchison>

      Comment by Norman Murray posted on

      Could you tell me how you are going to replace the benefits of game shooting to the environment ?

      • Replies to Norman Murray>

        Comment by Maureen Hutchison posted on

        Sorry? Did you say ‘benefits to the environment’? The only benefits are to the pockets of the landowners.For an in-depth review of the damage done to the environment check out Wild Justice’s extensive survey set out in their legal challenge

  3. Comment by Caroline Corsie posted on

    I manage a Wildlife Trust farm devoted to conservation..the neighbors release hundreds of birds that eat our HLS wild bird seed (both sown and hand spread)...then they try to flush out birds on shoot day ..

    • Replies to Caroline Corsie>

      Comment by Norman Murray posted on

      Never heard of bird feeders ?

      • Replies to Norman Murray>

        Comment by Caroline Corsie posted on

        We do actually put out hanging feeders for sparrows and finches etc , then we have bird tables through the farm for yellow hammer in particular (they pheasant eat this) and the hope of tree sparrow
        We also have caged on the ground feeders (as GWT promote) ... small mammals eat the seed in these
        Then we have planted about 8ha of wild bird seed mix ... lots of pheasant in these
        We cant use an automatic feeder ... not allowed in grant and would be stolen within seconds
        So I don't get your drift ?

        • Replies to Caroline Corsie>

          Comment by Norman murray posted on

          What is allowed under the grant agreement, you didn't quite cover the size of your problem, do you grow the seeds for harvest, it shouldn't be any a bigger pest as pheasants coming into our corn, for all they ate wasn't here nor there and we had 2000 on and of, the use of a gas gun morning and afternoon seemed to clear them out, plus we had the bonus of shooting some pheasants for our own use, they were delicious.