The High Court has ruled that Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) General Licences to control wild birds are lawful following a legal challenge by campaigning body Wild Justice.
Today’s decision means that the three General Licences which were subject to the legal challenge can continue to be used to control certain wild bird species.
They are available for the purpose of preventing serious damage or disease to crops or livestock, protecting public health and conserving certain species of wild birds.
All wild birds are protected by law. However, in certain circumstances, where NRW is satisfied that there is no satisfactory non-lethal solution, lethal control methods can be authorised under licence.
Ceri Davies, NRW’s Executive Director for Evidence, Planning and Policy said the Welsh government sponsored body were 'pleased' with the ruling.
"The judgment confirms the evidence based and proportionate approach taken by NRW," she said.
“We will continue to review, update and assess all our approaches to licensing and want to do this in the most collaborative way possible with all stakeholders."
What was the legal challenge?
The legal challenge related to general licences GL001, GL002 and GL004 to kill wild birds issued by NRW on 1 January 2020.
The grounds of challenge centred around how the body went about assessing whether there were other satisfactory solutions to killing the birds listed in the General Licences.
It also looked at the extent to which the licences specified the circumstances in which they may be relied on, and whether NRW had sufficient evidence to justify derogating from the general prohibition on the killing of wild birds.