Well, was it worth waiting for?
While Natural England have published some wildlife licensing data on their website, as per our discussions last year, the information they have released is not what we were anticipating or hoping for.
Frankly, I was expecting something better than this.
The published data does contain some information on a wide range of species (birds, mammals, amphibians and more) for which Natural England has issued licences.
This includes the bird lethal control licences which are at the heart of our campaign - but with one important set of figures missing - the actual number of birds approved to be killed under the licences. It is perhaps not surprising that this detail is missing as it is a shocking figure that would no doubt prove highly controversial if it were in the public domain. As I've revealed through freedom of information requests, it is the sheer numbers of birds that Natural England has permitted to be culled under these licences that is the biggest issue - and this, crucially, is missing from the published information.
I was, however, led to believe that these statistics would be included.
So, on behalf of the 356,000 concerned supporters of our petition, I am hugely disappointed and a little irritated.
Natural England told me that it is their intention to be much more transparent going forward.
If this is Natural England being more transparent then they have a very long way to go.
And I will be asking for an explanation from them in the next few days.
You can see the published data HERE
And please keep sharing our petition HERE
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