We write to DEFRA on their consultation failure

Seven week old pheasant poults in a gamekeeper’s release pen on an English shooting estate

Back in October, Wild Justice won a historic victory regarding the regulation of shooting when DEFRA committed to bring in regulation of gamebird releases because of their impacts on sites of high nature conservation importance – see here.

Wild Justice withdrew its legal challenge because DEFRA committed to do various things including adding the non-native Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, creating a buffer zone around important sites in which no gamebirds will be released etc.

Those commitments were made binding in a court order which ended the case:

For months, DEFRA has intended to issue a consultation on the measures it will introduce, as it is required to do. Wild Justice has been looking forward to the consultation as it represents an opportnity for public pressure and evidence to strengthen the measures that DEFRA will take. That consultation was promised for this Monday, 8 February but on Monday afternoon DEFRA issued a curt email (referred to here) in which they only committed to launching the consultation in ‘the coming weeks’.

Yesterday, Wild Justice wrote to DEFRA as follows;