The New GL43 General Licence
After a week of frustration, anger and contrasting opinions in the shooting world which saw the revoking of three separate bird shooting licences by Natural England, BBC TV Presenter and wildlife activist Chris Packham woke up yesterday morning (Thursday 25th April) to find a brand new display at the entrance of his house - made from dead birds.
Packham posted a photo on Twitter yesterday morning of the front gate to his house, which had been decorated with two hanging crows - obviously a direct hit at the wildlife activist who has worked to ban the shooting of this very bird. His tweet reads that ‘lawyers have been informed’ whilst demanding a swift response on the matter from BASC, NFU and many other organisations. The tweet has gone viral with over 7,000 replies (a mixture of support and attack) and more than 11,000 retweets.
This confrontation is a clear demonstration of how enraged the shooting and rural communities have become after this turbulent few days.
We brought you the news earlier in the week that Natural England had decided to revoke three national licences that permit the shooting of 16 different types of pest bird including many in the pigeon and crow families. This decision was pushed and initiated by Packham and his non-profit organisation Wild Justice, who managed to get this project over the line the space of just two months.
The shooting world has gone rogue ever since then, with the majority of shooters expressing a great deal of anger towards the decision. For many people, pest birds are a genuine obstruction to everyday life and the ability to earn a living as livestock and crop fields are a hotspot for these unforgiving birds. There’s also currently no real evidence of declining populations in the majority of these species and in many ways population control is a direct aid to biodiversity in rural areas.
Natural England is set to roll out the first stages of the move after the weekend, with applications opening on Monday for licences in exceptional circumstances.
We will keep you updated on any developments in the near future with this ongoing battle.