Licences granted to shoot some of Britain’s most endangered birds


EXCERPT: Wildlife lovers are in uproar after officials in charge of nature-protection gave gun owners permission to shoot dead some of Britain’s most treasured and rarest bird species. Welsh conservation chiefs gave the go-ahead for the slaughter of dozens of species including kestrels, curlew, linnets, sparrows and fieldfares. More than 1,000 birds may have been killed under the permits.

The revelation comes days after nature fans posted furious objections over similar licences granted in England to kill thousands of endangered birds from dozens of species – ranging from skylarks and lapwings to rare species such as meadow pipits and oyster-catchers. They also included garden favourites wrens, robins and bullfinches. Many of the species are on the RSPB red and amber lists, meaning they are of the highest or critical conservation priority. They may be globally threatened with extinction, in severe decline or rare breeders.

Environmentalists condemned the decisions as “appalling”, a “horror story” and “wanton, mindless destruction”. But officials said the permits were handed out for air safety, public health and safety and to prevent serious damage to livestock....

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