Just received this shocking reply from Natural England. Their rationale for giving Sellafield a license to blanket cull is that the deer are “a threat to security” and any way say Natural England it is open season for does (until 31st of March) and no bucks have been seen on site (it is closed season for bucks) .
Natural England then helpfully point out that buck fawns can be shot anyway if the doe mother is shot (‘cos thats the humane thing to do – right?) A fawn stays with the mother until it is over a year old – so any fully grown bucks are classified by Natural England as “fawns.”
The full shocking letter is here:
|“Special Permission” to Cull out of Season|
|From:||“Wildlife, Bristol (NE)” <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Mon, March 24, 2014 1:10 pm|
|Cc:||“Enquiries (NE)” <email@example.com>|
Dear Miss Birkby,
Thank you for your email below concerning the rationale behind the granting of a licence to control deer.
Natural England received an application for a licence to kill deer during the Close Season that had become accidentally trapped within the Sellafield Nuclear site at Seascale in Cumbria due to the risk that these animals posed to the security of the site.
The applicant had considered a range of alternative measures in order to resolve the issue such as removing sections of the perimeter fencing and leaving gates open to allow the animals to exit and capturing the deer with nets and/or stupefying drugs to enable relocation outside.
As none of these measures were considered to be effective or practicable to implement (predominantly due to the security situation at this site), a licence under Section 8 of the Deer Act 1991 (as amended) was issued to permit the applicant to shoot a limited number of Roe bucks (only) for the purpose of preserving public health and safety. However, as no Roe bucks have been detected on site since the issue of the licence, no action has been taken; nor is any likely to be.
With regard to the Roe does that are present on site, any authorised person is lawfully permitted to shoot these deer between 01 November and 31 March (inclusive) without the need for justification or a licence.
In addition, under Section 6 (2) of the 1991 Act, a person shall not be guilty of an offence of taking or killing a deer during the Close Season or at Night that he reasonably believes- (a) has been deprived in any way (other than by an unlawful taking or killing by that person) of a female deer on which it was dependent; or (b) is about to be deprived, by death from disease or a lawful taking or killing, of a female deer on which it is dependent.
This effectively means that Roe buck fawns could be lawfully shot during the Close Season without the need for a licence.
Natural England, 1st Floor, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6EB Tel: 0845 601 4523 Fax: 0845 601 3438 Please note that my normal work pattern is Monday to Friday – mornings only. http://www.naturalengland.org.uk We are here to secure a healthy natural environment for people to enjoy, where wildlife is protected and England’s traditional landscapes are safeguarded for future generations. In an effort to reduce Natural England’s carbon footprint, I will, wherever possible, avoid travelling to meetings and attend via audio, video or web conferencing. Natural England is accredited to the Cabinet Office Customer Service Excellence Standard —–
Original Message—– From: Marianne Birkby
Sent: 18 March 2014 15:53 To: Wildlife, Bristol (NE); Enquiries (NE) Subject: “Special Permission” to Cull out of Season Dear Natural England,
I am writing on behalf of Save the Sellafield Deer to ask what are the reasons behind the “special permission” granted to Sellafield to cull the family group of roe deer out of season?
The public are opposed to this cull as evidenced by the thousands of petition signatures and demonstrations outside the newly enlarged perimeter fences trapping the deer. Wildlife and animal protection groups including Animal Aid, PETA, We Are Change and others are opposed as are wildlife sanctuaries and Humane Wildlife Solutions – some of these groups have offered to get the deer out at no charge to Sellafield.
The Sellafield workforce are opposed as evidenced by them joining protestors outside the gates. What rationale can you give for granting Sellafield “special permission” to cull the deer?
If you cannot answer by return email as a courtesy then we would like to ask the question under Freedom of Information requests. yours sincerely Marianne Birkby on behalf of Save the Sellafield Deer
Shooting deer in the close season or at night Section 7 Deer Act 1991 provides a so-called “farmers defence” whereby authorised persons may, in certain circumstances shoot deer if they are causing damage in the close season (see the Act for details of the types of situations covered). The amendments to the Deer Act to allow individuals to apply for licences for shooting deer during the close season to prevent the deterioration of natural heritage or to preserve public health and safety. To apply see Licences and how to apply below. Under Section 3 Deer Act 1991 it is an offence to kill or take deer at night. The 2007 amendments allow individuals to apply for licences for shooting deer at night where it is not possible to effectively control deer by other means. To apply for a licence see Licences and how to apply below. http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/species/dee r.aspx <http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/species/de er.aspx>