The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee will hold a one-off evidence session on the recent decision to withdraw the general licences for controlling wild birds.
The Committee has asked Defra Ministers and the interim chief executive of Natural England, Marian Spain to appear before the Committee to give evidence.
The decision by Natural England has resulted in a great deal of concern and commentary. Last week, it was announced that the function of issuing general licences will henceforth be exercised solely by the Secretary of State.
The Committee has invited witnesses to appear on 21 May. Questions will focus on the series of events that led to this decision being taken, the handling of the media fallout, the issuing and effectiveness of new general licences and the subsequent action taken by the Secretary of State.
Neil Parish MP, the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said:
“My Committee is keen to find out more about this controversial decision and the events that led up to it.
“It is clear from the subsequent backlash that many members of the farming community are deeply concerned by the move and worried about the impact it may have on their livelihoods. We feel it is our Committee’s duty to question why such a step was taken and whether there are any alternative methods available.
“We invited the Ministers and Natural England to give us a much clearer picture of how they reached this decision and how they plan to move forward given the fallout that has followed their announcement.”
Image: Christine Matthews / Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) / CC BY-SA 2.0