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201102 | Pheasant to be classed as “nuisance” species as government forces shooting estates to seek licences

Pheasant to be classed as “nuisance” species as government forces shooting estates to seek licences

Posted By Rashleigh MacFarlane on 2nd November 2020

By Rashleigh MacFarlane

Campaigners have won a surprise early victory over shooting parties which at this time of the year take to the Cornish countryside to kill pheasants. There are several shooting estates in Cornwall.

The government has avoided a High Court challenge and agreed to class the birds, as well as partridges, alongside Japanese knotweed and grey squirrels as "nuisance" invasive species that imperil native wildlife.

The campaign group Wild Justice had been due to bring a Judicial Review, claiming that Defra had failed to assess the impact of the sudden, large-scale release of non-native birds into the countryside solely for the purposes of "sport." Rather than risk defeat, the government has agreed to introduce a licensing system.

The new classification means that shooting estates will have to obtain a licence from Natural England before releasing millions of pheasants into the wild in certain areas. Wild Justice had claimed the birds have a damaging effect on indigenous flora and fauna.

Environment secretary, and Camborne and Redruth MP, George Eustice, said: “The negative effects of game-bird releases on protected sites tend to be localised, with minimal

or no effects beyond 500 metres from the point of release. However, our review highlighted a need to gain a better understanding of how any localised impacts might be mitigated and existing arrangements strengthened.”




Via Cornwall Reports

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