High Court Rule Gull Cull Can Proceed

The High Court has ruled against the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB challenge of an application to cull 1100 lesser black-backed gulls).

BAE Systems had applied for permission to cull the birds in Lancashire, with the RSPB submitting its objection to the move.

However the High Court have dismissed the objection and given its approval for the cull to go ahead.

It is understood that the cull was proposed to reduce the risk of birds being sucked into jet engines at Warton airfield.

Responding the ruling the RSPB said in a statement on their website: "This judgment is deeply worrying as we believe it fundamentally misinterprets the law as it relates to protecting birds.

"It is important to stress that the dispute at the centre of this case is not about air safety – the RSPB fully accepts the risk exists and that the cull is necessary, this is about how the Government can sanction the killing of an additional 1100 lesser black-backed gulls without acknowledging the damaging impact of removing almost a fifth of the breeding population of a species on a protected site. 

"The judge appears to condone the Government writing off part of why the Ribble Estuary is important for nature conservation without compensation measures and, as such, sets a deeply disturbing precedent for our most important sites for wildlife – we are urgently looking at our options to appeal this judgment."


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