HC Deb 09 June 2004 vol 422 cc441-2W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which protected species of bird may be taken under licence in England; how many licences were issued by her Department in the last two years to take protected bird species, broken down by (a) species and (b) the number of birds taken under each licence; and what (i) the location where the action can take place and (ii) the reason why each licence was issued in each case. [176836]

Mr. Bradshaw

All species of wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, however section 16 of the Act gives powers to the Secretary of State to issue licences which may be, to any degree, general or specific, subject to there being no satisfactory alternative.

The Department compiles derogation reports under the European Community Directive on the Conservation of Birds (79/409/EEC) on an annual basis for the United Kingdom. The report details the species, the number of licences issued, the purpose or reason for each licence issued in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by Government Departments and agencies.

Reports for the calendar years, 2001 and 2002 are publicly available documents and have been lodged with the House Libraries. The report for 2003 is currently being compiled and will be made available as soon as it has been completed and submitted to the European Commission.

The reports do not record details of the location where the action has taken place in view of concerns for confidentiality and identifying individuals' residence.

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