High Court permission granted to Wild Justice for legal challenge on annual release of 50 million+ non-native gamebirds

We heard this morning that Wild Justice’s application for judicial review of the impacts of vast releases of non-native gamebirds on sites of high nature conservation importance has been granted.

Thank you the Hon Mr Justice Kerr! 

This means that after scrutiny by a Judge, it has been decided that there is a substantive case to answer, and that case should be made in court (by the end of October 2020).  We have, after quite a long wait, got everything we could ask for at this stage. 

We may win in court, or we may not, but there is no doubt that there is a case to answer. If we were to be successful then this would have big impacts on Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge shooting in 2021. 

We asked the court for a hearing this autumn so that any implications of the eventual judgment would be known long before gamebird shoots were making plans for ordering imports of birds for 2021. 

Wild Justice is represented by Carol Day and Tessa Gregory, solicitors at LeighDay, in this legal case; Carol said “Defra was prompted to launch a review into the release of gamebirds on protected sites following the threat of legal action by Wild Justice in 2019 and on the issue of proceedings sought to argue the case is academic and premature. In granting permission for Judicial Review and ordering a hearing before the end of October, the Judge has clearly recognised the importance and urgency of this case, which will now be given a full and proper airing in Court.” 

Thank you to all those who donated last summer when we started this challenge. We have the money in the bank to carry it through to the autumn.