Wild Take - Natural England Consultation
The Hawk Board supports the continuation of the licensing system for falconers and aviculturists to apply for a licenced wild take.
We believe that in the context of buoyant UK populations of birds of prey, that there are no conservation reasons to remove this opportunity. That said, assessment of population health of native British raptors needs to be undertaken regularly by an authorative independent ornithological body such as the BTO to ensure sustainability of any harvest.
Under strictly controlled and monitored conditions, the licensing system allows for falconers who aspire to practice falconry in a traditional sense to access wild populations to fulfil this; whilst aviculturists (breeders) can seek to access specific raptor gene pools to ensure viable breeding projects.
It is self evident that any application for wild take should be subject to rigorous examination. Numbers, if licenses are granted, will be very limited and will not replace our reliance on captive/domestic breeding.
In short, the Hawk Board supports the continuation of the current licensing system. Access to wild populations will always be the exception rather than the regular route of access to birds of prey.
The Natural England consultation gives us the opportunity to submit our views on this matter.
We attach a specimen answer guide.
Wild take call for evidence (GM)
Download DOCX • 57KB
Dr Gordon Mellor
The Hawk Board