NRCN calls for clarity on licensing changes for farmers and rural businesses

The National Rural Crime Network is urging Natural England to urgently provide more information to farmers and rural businesses who are set to be affected by a significant change to licensing requirements for controlling specific wild bird species.

Natural England has given just 36 hours’ notice that from just before midnight tonight (Thursday 25 April at 11.59pm), three general licences covering the control of 16 species of birds, including several members of the crow family, Canada goose, some gulls and pigeons, will be revoked.

Julia Mulligan, Chair of the National Rural Crime Network, said:

“For many farmers and rural businesses, this will have a significant impact at a crucial time for the protection of crops and animals. Our main concern is that due to the speed of the changes, thousands of people could be at risk of breaking the law unwittingly and unknowingly.

“Natural England need to be doing more to engage with those who will face the consequences of these changes to let them know what is happening and why, and crucially what measures are being put in place to replace these licences – details which are still not available as the existing licences are revoked.”