A quick review of Wild Justice’s 2021

Here’s a quick run through our work in 2021 – for more details see individual blog posts:

January: our challenge of the legality of general licences in Wales elicits very useful clarification of the system including the highlighting of the need for there to be a ‘present danger’ to species of conservation concern for lethal control to be authorised.

February: DEFRA launches gamebird release consultation as a result of Wild Justice’s legal challenge – hundreds and hundreds Wild Justice supporters take the opportunity to respond. Our petition to the Westminster government on Badgers passes 100,000 signatures (but still awaits a Westminster Hall debate)

March: Wild Justice is a member of the Wildlife and Countryside Link partnership which launches a petition calling for legally binding targets in the Environment Bill – great response from Wild Justice supporters. We write to DAERA in Northern Ireland to point out flaws in their general licences which open them up for legal action, We write to Natural Resources Wales about their lack of response to the legal judgment in January on general licences.

April: as part of Wildlife and Countryside Link, Wild Justice supports the End Wildlife Crime campaign ahead of the May elections for Police and Crime Commissioners.

May: tests of Sainsbury’s game meat show that they have high levels of lead but we give Waitrose the benefit of the doubt in showing some signs of improvement in line with what they had told their customers. We highlight a potential breach of the general licences described in the pages of a shooting magazine.

June: Wild Justice writes to Natural England about the very poor quality of their IUCN assessment for their Hen Harrier reintroduction project. WCL petition on Environment Bill passes 200,000 signatures. Wild Justice’s Ban driven grouse shooting petition is debated in Westminster Hall. Despite appeals, we lost our challenge on the humaneness of Badger culling in England.

July: Wild Justice starts a legal challenge over the DEFRA feeble Heather and Grass Burning regulations. In Northern Ireland, DAERA issue a consultation on changes to their general licences in response to Wild Justice’s concerns over their scientific and legal flaws. Shooting Times columnist changes his story and says that what he wrote in the magazine was untrue.

August: Wild Justice broadcasts a Hen Harrier Day programme highlighting the importance of the uplands for people, for the climate and for wildlife. NRW consults on general licences in Wales following our legal challenge. Wild Justice writes to several local authorities in England and Wales about their use of glyphosate .

September: The Pheasant-shooting season approaches with, in England, restrictions on numbers that can be released thanks to Wild Justice’s legal challenge on gamebird release numbers.

October: Scotland-based Trees for Life win an important legal challenge over Beaver protection which Wild Justice supported financially. As the COP26 starts in Glasgow our e-action, for people, for the climate and for wildlife passes 37,000 emails sent to every elected politician in the four UK national legislative bodies.

November: the Environment Act becomes law and includes a legally binding target on species abundance thanks to the WCL campaign in which Wild Justice played a very active role.

December: DAERA, finally, concede the unlawfulness of their general licences, issue new improved interim general licences and commit to consulting on the way forward. Wild Justice highlights continuing high lead levels in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Harrods game meat.

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