U.K. watchdog authorized killing of 170000 wild birds

Feb 25, 2019, 8:15 AM EST
(Source: Jason Thompson/flickr)
(Source: Jason Thompson/flickr)

British government’s conservation watchdog, Natural England, has some serious questions to answer after official documents released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the body authorized killing of 170,000 wild birds over five years, some of them from rare and shrinking species.

Britain’s wildlife laws protect all wild birds and their nests but in exceptional cases where these birds damage farming, fishing and forestry interests or endanger people’s health and safety, the watchdog can issue licenses to kill, notes Mail Online.

Licenses were granted to kill birds from 70 species, including permission for destruction of 854 curlews and their eggs or nests, a species on the verge of extinction in southern England, writes The Guardian.

Jason Endfield, a blogger and wildlife campaigner, called the scale of the killing “absolutely shocking,” but Natural England defended itself saying that the licenses to kill are issued through careful vetting after all other non-fatal measures have been exhausted.