To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) pest control, (b) agriculture and (c) animal welfare of Natural England’s withdrawal of three General Licences for pest control.
8 May 2019
Defra fully recognises the implications of the withdrawal of these licences for pest controllers, farmers and gamekeepers. For this reason, the Secretary of State has taken back decision making powers with respect to the three licences in question. Defra has initiated a call for evidence in order to better understand the impact of the withdrawal, which closes on Monday 13 May. Due to the nature of the general licences, Natural England does not hold records of the numbers of people who rely on them but it estimates up to 50,000 people may be affected.