Cormorants, RSPB back off judicial review.
The Moran Committee has learned that the RSPB has finally decided not to pursue a judicial review of the new policy regarding the control of cormorants announced by Defra Minister, Ben Bradshaw in September 2004.
However, the RSPB have apparently stated their intention to use the new Freedom of Information Act to obtain details of all applications to shoot cormorants under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and if there are any mistakes found in the process, they will take individual cases for judicial review.
Terry Mansbridge, Chairman of the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives and the Moran Bird Group says, "I find the alleged attitude of the RSPB disappointing and somewhat reminiscent of apetulant adolescent who has failed to get its own way. I would rather they continued to work with us to monitor the new procedures to try and ensure that the survival status of all species is protected."
Paul Knight, Director of the Salmon and Trout Association comments, "The new rules are an attempt to give both fish and birds equal protection. The RSPB don't appear to have grasped this fact and regrettably are
adopting a very one-sided view."
Martin Read of the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC) states, "The new rules are aimed at protecting fish and not culling cormorants. The RSPB continue to deliberately mis-interpret this. The suggestion of selecting individual cases would, in terms of bird protection, seem to be a complete waste of time and
effort, particularly considering that the French, who supposedly work to the same rules as the UK, have reportedly granted in excess of 31,000 licences to shoot the birds. I find the RSPB's whole attitude quite irresponsible."