The new system has two main options for those who release birds on or within 500M of a protected site, either apply to NE for an individual licence if releasing above the specified stocking density, or use GL43 if not. However, the use of GL43 is conditional on all releases of more than 50 birds being reported to NE via their website within 28 days of release.
The organisations are issuing a legal reminder to shoots releasing pheasants and red legged partridges on or within 500 metres of a European Protected Site in England.
The introduction of a new general licence (GL43) earlier this year has made it a legal requirement to tell Natural England the number of gamebirds released and location. Details of any relevant SSSI consent under which the activity is operating is also required.
Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and gundogs, said:
“If members are releasing gamebirds on and around European Protected Sites in England, they must ensure they follow the requirements of the new GL43.
“A failure to report the release of 50 or more birds within one month of doing so could leave shoots at risk of prosecution or having the use of the general licence withdrawn.”
BASC is also reminding members of the legal requirement to complete the poultry register by those who keep more than 50 birds of a relevant type – which includes gamebirds.
There is an online reporting form within GL43 and further information on the new general licence, protected sites and the poultry register can be found on the BASC website.
Members requiring further advice can contact BASC for assistance.”