Evidence base for GL26 is threadbare
This is the section in the Licence Determination document received from Natural England to justify the publication of General Licence GL26 to ‘authorise’ control of Carrion Crows to prevent serious damage to livestock including gamebirds (Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges).
We’ll come back to this ‘evidence’ but once you read it carefully you will see that it is does not amount to much. That either means that there is no strong evidence which could amount to a justification for issuing a general licence of this type or that Natural England have done a poor job in finding it and summarising it here. For serious damage to sheep we suspect that it may be the latter – but what do you think? For gamebirds we think it is the former – what do you think? But in both cases the evidence presented by Natural England does not justify the widespread, unmonitored, unregulated killing of Carrion Crows under a general licence.
Just one more thing – note that this Natural England document is dated ‘February’. See where this sits with respect to the timeline of Wild Justice’s legal challenge. When Natural England responded to Wild Justice’s legal challenge with an evasive and ambiguous letter, on 13 March, they were already preparing this replacement general licence…