Opinion Former Article

BASC urges Wild Justice to step back from ‘disgraceful’ legal challenge

BASC is urging Wild Justice to reconsider its decision to launch a legal challenge against general licences in Wales at a time of national crisis.

The group run by Chris Packham, Mark Avery and Ruth Tingay announced yesterday that it is seeking permission for a judicial review against Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the body responsible for licensing in Wales.

BASC will seek to register as an interested party in any legal action that may challenge licences in Wales.

But the UK’s largest shooting organisation is calling on Wild Justice to step back from landing Welsh government with costly and time -consuming legal action at a time when it is clearly focusing its limited resources on tackling Coronavirus.

Steve Griffiths, BASC Wales director, said: “It seems wholly inappropriate for Wild Justice to launch this further action when the people of Wales are panicking about their lives and livelihoods. This action is incredibly out of touch with the national mood.

“This action by Wild Justice isn’t just an attack on the countryside, it also presents a wholly unnecessary diversion to NRW and the Welsh government at a time when it is rightly giving all of its attention to the problems being thrown up by Coronavirus.

“Like the rest of the UK, the Welsh government is diverting money and resources to protect its people in a time of crisis and it is, frankly, disgraceful that Wild Justice should seek to throw a legal challenge on top of this.

“This ill-judged action has moved Wild Justice further away from the middle ground. Not only are they are a threat to conservation, farming and to thousands of businesses across the UK, they are now also diverting focus from a national health crisis.

“BASC is prepared to help the Welsh government fight this challenge if we have to. But we would rather give Wild Justice the benefit of the doubt around their timing and sincerely ask that they withdraw this challenge for the sake of the Welsh people.”

BASC is urging Wild Justice to reconsider its decision to launch a legal challenge against general licences in Wales at a time of national crisis. 

Notes to Editors:
BASC press release: Welsh Government agency states general licences are lawful - https://basc.org.uk/welsh-government-agency-states-general-licences-are-lawful/

BASC Welsh general licensing landing page - https://basc.org.uk/gl/wales/

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