We’re waiting patiently


We are waiting patiently for the judgment on our judicial review of the Welsh general licences. There is no point in speculating on what the result will be as we have nothing much to go on. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Most judicial reviews are unsuccessful – that’s the way things go. We are hopeful that the judge will say that NRW’s general licences are unlawful, in which case they will have to be rewritten and that would have implications for general licences in England and Scotland too. But let us imagine that the judgment goes the other way and the judge says that the current licences are lawful, there may still be elements of his judgment that help define more clearly aspects of the licensing system – that might be very useful and important in itself.

So, we’ll have to wait and see.

But we don’t have to wait and see to know that NRW’s general licences are very poor things (whether or not they are lawful). They allow the Jay to be killed for alleged conservation purposes while no conservation organisation kills Jays anywhere in the UK to the best of our knowledge. And they allow the purpose for which you can kill species to be for the protection of the eggs and chicks of species that have never nested in Wales. the conservation licence specifically says that it is to protect eggs and chicks but it leaves the circumstances under which you can take that action very unclear – can you cull Carrion Crows in November to protect some eggs and chicks somewhere or other in Wales next spring? Or not?

If driving licences or TV licences were written with such lack of clarity then there would be uproar. We think there should be uproar over the casual licensing of the casual killing of birds in Wales. Wild Justice believes that NRW is not doing its job properly and that whether or not its current licences are unlawful (we think they are) they are such awful licences that NRW should be upgrading them as a matter of urgency.