Geese release FOI- official statement from “Natural” England

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Ever since this blog and campaign started 7 years ago, the subject of the “lawful” release of Canada Geese was at the heart of the issue, and how parks officers in Sandwell had lied about their murder. They were only caught out when having to explain in the public domain how they had been able to “break the law” in releasing them onto an RSPB  nature reserve when in fact their contractor had broken their necks on a farm.

I have gone into detail previously about  how The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981– a barbaric agricultural tool, was gestated by insidious European Union Directives.

European Member States are required to regulate the release of non-native species into the wild under the following provisions of The European Birds and Habitats Directives

: BIRDS DIRECTIVE OBLIGATION: Article 111 of the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) requires Member States to ensure that introduction of non-native birds species into the wild does not prejudice the local flora and fauna.

HABITATS DIRECTIVE OBLIGATION: Article 22(b)2 of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) requires Member States to ensure that deliberate introduction of non-native species into the wild is regulated, and if necessary prohibited, so as not to prejudice natural habitats or wild native flora and fauna.

The Article 11 and 22(b) regulatory obligations are met through the provisions of sections 14 and 16 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This was principally to protect the financial interests of the vile militant French thugs who call themselves “farmers”, a brigade of onion smelling tractor pulling tossers, who at any opportunity set things on fire if they do not get their way. Even more barbaric than that are practices in the tax evasion money laundering non entity of Malta, where birds continue to be cruelly trapped. Other EU countries allow shooting of migrating birds, and little protection of their own “native” species. The European Union and its edicts have always looked the other way on such matters, so don’t anyone try to tell me otherwise in that our membership of this failed “union” has ever done anything to “protect” birds.

The ruddy duck in this country was slaughtered by the notion that it was “a non-native species”- again with full connections to The European ideals of state led slaughter. The agricultural and shooting lobby infest policy in Brussels, and also continue to do so in this country too.  😥

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With regard to releasing Canada geese in the UK, a resident of this country for over 400 years, as well as other species, rescue organisations, particularly the RSPCA, appear to be constrained by the Wildlife and Countryside Act with regards to what they do after capturing such birds, and if they can release them back into the wild if they need care or rehabilitation. Such avian eugenics is  morally wrong, and baseless in the claims that in doing so, releasing birds from an area that were already there, back into that same area is somehow going to have a negative impact on that area. The logic is nonsensical, and I have dealt with this issue in The Prejudiced Lie, which is the story of the 2013/14 cull in Sandwell and the issues arising from it.

The-prejudiced-lie.pdf (saveoursandwellcanadageese.org.uk)

As part of my investigation into Sandwell’s claimed release, I contacted Natural England at the time, in the knowledge that they had responsibility for the issuing of licences to release birds, and the fact that no one in Sandwell could produce any such licence from them.

An email from Tim Medlicott, wildlife advisor at Natural England dated  27th August 2014  gave the answer that I was looking for in terms of enforcement of legislation, and that Natural England have absolutely zero powers in this regard.

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An email from a Haney King, “Natural England’s lead wildlife adviser for the Sandwell area” dated 14th October 2014 stated the following.

With regard to an alleged release of Canada geese within a Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council park following roundup during moult earlier this summer; I understand this has been the subject of recent investigations by West Midlands Police.  Natural England has cooperated with these investigations and provided advice regarding general licensing and wildlife protection legislation.  As far as I am aware all investigations to date of the alleged event have determined that no offence has been proved, i.e. no Canada geese captured have been subsequently re-released.  As far as can be reliably established, a roundup and cull of Canada geese was undertaken by Pestex Ltd using permitted methods under the general license on behalf of Sandwell MBC on council property.”

They continued

“With regard to your suggestion that Sandwell MBC have plans to release non-native ornamental duck species within their parks, Natural England are providing advice to Sandwell MBC with an aim to ensure that they are aware of their obligations under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which prohibits the release into the wild without a licence of any animal of a kind which is not ordinarily resident in, and is not a regular visitor to, Great Britain in a wild state, or any species of animal listed in Schedule 9 to the Act, which includes Mandarin and Ruddy duck.”

NE reply

I also submitted a freedom of information request to Natural England in 2015 on the same subject. Their answer can be read HERE. 

“Regarding the release of so called “non native species”, can you similarly confirm that you are unable to prosecute any individuals for the illegal release of these species?”

“There is nothing to stop Natural England from prosecuting breaches of Section 14 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) which is the piece of legislation to which we believe you are referring. However, it is the Police Service that takes the lead in enforcing wildlife legislation in England that is not in relation to protected site or species Licence enforcement (except General Licences that we issue). For more information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/enforcement-laws-advice-on-protecting-the-natural-environment-inengland”

A further FOI request to Natural England requested what information they had given to SMBC as referred to , but they claimed they had no recorded written correspondence- well how convenient.

“Natural England have not engaged in any written communication with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council on this matter.”

I doubt they provided any “advice” at all.

WHAT THE WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT SECTION 14 STATES.

The interpretation of Natural England’s rules are set out in the Defra document below published in 2009/10. Birds appearing on schedule 9 appear to have done so by a process of discriminatory prejudice, and it is interesting to see that falconry is protected when I have both witnessed and reported such characters engage in the murder of “native” birds of the UK using “non-native” plastic penis attachments with a bell end attached. Not surprisingly, Natural England and the pigs look the other way to such matters.

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“With respect to the release of animals section 14(1) states: (1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, if any person releases or allows to escape into the wild any animal which –

(a) is of a kind which is not ordinarily resident in and is not a regular visitor to Great Britain in a wild state; or

(b) is included in Part I of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence.

. ‘Animal’ refers to species belonging to the kingdom Animalia including, for example, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, insects and other invertebrates.”

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COMMENT

Unfortunately, this law if following it to the letter means that animal and bird rescue organisations have to accommodate such birds for the rest of their lives, in unnatural confined conditions. Free wild birds effectively become caged prisoners under this legislation and policy. This puts financial pressure on such organisations and eventually means they are able to offer less and probably more restrictive care for other casualties. They are then therefore faced with the dilemma of whether putting down these birds in increasing numbers or keeping them to suit their best interests. Do their operations become wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, or “wildlife sanctuaries”, not much different from zoos, except the public do not pay to enter. It is a cull by the back door in such circumstances, not by necessity but because of bureaucratic pomposity and European Union discrimination.

In dealing with the RSPCA for many years, their officers on the field can be very cagey about such subjects, and members of the public are told by some that they will have to be put down, because of the law regarding “non-native” species, whilst others may bluff and state that they “have a licence to release the birds”. I have been given both statements, and so have others. One can see in such circumstances why trust , as was the case in Sandwell , is constrained.  But how true are these statements, and what rules guide licence release? I decided to ask for an official statement via the horses mouth of NE with another FOI request.

As well as asking them for official release policy and numbers allowed, I also threw in two other species, Black swan– originally Australian origin, and Egyptian Goose, originally a Southern African bird, but only declared “non-native” in 2009. These may be less numerous than Canada Geese in this country, but under NE policy, they would also require a licence to release.

Natural England provided me with the following xcel file for releases from 2020. They also gave the following explanation. 

“The protocol required under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended are as follows for Non-native release of certain birds:

Before the issue of a licence is recommended the following criteria must be satisfied:

• The release or reintroduction will have a neutral or beneficial impact on biodiversity and socioeconomic interests.

• In all cases, a disease risk assessment has been carried out and no significant disease concerns have been identified.

• If it is a designated site, the Area Team may be consulted.

In addition, consideration is given to the impact on the welfare of the individual animals involved, which must be certified as being fit and healthy before release. For welfare reasons, release is usually in the location where the birds were found, where practicable.

We can confirm Natural England have not issued licenses to (re) release Egyptian geese and black swans.

Please find attached spreadsheet for granted licences issued to (re) release Canada geese in 2020.

The number of Canada geese included on a licence are normally agreed with the applicant during the assessment, so we do not have a set minimum or Maximum number that is set. The RSPCA has an Organisational Licence for NNR (expires 2023).

What can affect numbers released is when release is undertaken during the winter months and bird flu control zones are in place, this would either prevent or restrict the numbers that can or might be restricted. If the licensee reaches licence limit, the licensee would contact Natural England to request an increase and this increase would be considered as part of the re assessment of the licence.”

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Canada goose release under licence 2020 Source Natural England.

No Egyptian swans or Black swans were licenced for release in 2020 according to this response.

  • In terms of the explanation, I would state that returning single or small numbers of Canada geese to the wild from the site from which they came will have “a neutral or beneficial impact on biodiversity and socioeconomic interests.”
  • How about the socioeconomic interests of the RSPCA and other wildlife rehabilitators Natural England, or do you only consider land owners?
  • Many of these  birds will be from urban park areas which can hardly be classed as “biodiverse” or even containing any form of habitat if you take a look of many of Sandwell’s parks for example, where silt and human excrement have killed wildlife.  :roll: These are management failures over many years, human problems and not those caused by scape goat birds. 

In terms of a disease risk assessment, why should these birds be unable to be released due to disease risk assessment, when “native” birds such as swans have no such impediment to release, despite being capable of carrying exactly the same pathogenic diseases? One notes recent cases of bird flu. The same can be said of their health and welfare, and this of course is down to the rescuer/rehabilitator under veterinary advice. This is not in itself a reason for not allowing this species to not be allowed to be returned from where it came, rather than on the individual circumstances of the bird itself. I would also add that people on the frontline of wildlife rescue are far more competent a judge of “welfare”  through years of experience of the blood and the shit that go with it in contrast with  some desk jockey at Natural England who has metaphorical “blood” on their hands for licenced executive slaughter by decree.

Specifically they state  “we do not have a set minimum or Maximum number that is set.” This statement therefore contradicts what I have been told by the RSPCA in one circumstance regards numbers. As does the statement “If the licensee reaches licence limit, the licensee would contact Natural England to request an increase and this increase would be considered as part of the re assessment of the licence.” 

I am therefore not sure if the RSPCA actually understand that they can request more on demand, or if they are merely prohibiting themselves from the burden of catering for more of the said species when a quick injection will be less economic a burden on them. I think it’s time that they came clean with the public on this issue. 

There is also the observation that how could any organisation possibly know how many birds they will have in in any given year, when one single event like a pollution incident involving dozens of birds from the same site impact their total release numbers in one “fowl swoop”. This system is totally flawed and unworkable in this regard.

Clearly , the other organisations mentioned in the figures are to be commended on releasing birds back to the wild, and having to jump through the useless bureaucratic hoops of an organisation that has no concern at all for the species in question, or even of course “native” ones like badgers that they have mercilessly persecuted through fake and flawed science over the past few years- again purely in the agricultural interest.

BUT THESE ORGANISATIONS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO APPLY FOR SUCH LICENCES WHERE SMALL NUMBERS ARE CONCERNED, AND THE LAW MUST BE CHANGED. IN THIS REGARD, I WILL BE CONTACTING THE SAID ORGANISATIONS WITH RESPECT TO CAMPAIGNING FOR REPEAL OF SECTION 14 OF THE WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT AND SCHEDULE 9. THERE IS NO VALID REASON FOR ITS PURPOSE. NONE AT ALL. 

Personally, I do not care about breaking this law and am happy to do so. If it is Natural England’s or the Police’s policy of criminalising individuals who save wildlife and return it to where it came and prosecute them only because of fascist European Union Legislation which appears to be directly Nazi influenced, (possibly through political descendants of Nazi party members regards the German MEP’s who voted for the two directives at the time), then bring it fucking on. 

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No geese were released into the wild according to the WMP “investigation” by Sandwell council’s contractor in 2013. What’s good for the goose……

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