‘Guests Off the Leash’ are short standalone audio comments and statements (‘shortcasts’) from conservationists, campaigners, charities, authors and members of our audience. If it needs to be said – say it here!
Last month we posted a shortcast by ecologist Tom Langton which discussed a call for evidence made by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (the JNCC) which could lead to the removal of legislative protection for many of the UK’s amphibians and reptiles, and which – in Tom’s words – could “allow snake-bashing to become lawful again”.
The following week a short, precise message was sent to the JNCC by a coalition of over 30 non-government organisations (see – Open NGO letter responding to proposed changes to the eligibility criteria for the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)) which specifically referenced the Quinquennial Review – the process by which every five years an inter-agency group makes recommendations to Defra and the devolved administrations in Great Britain on changes to the schedules (or lists) of protected species.
The joint message included the demand, “We would like to formally request that the Quinquennial Review Group carry out a public consultation on the decision to change the eligibility criteria before proceeding with the planned timetable. We await your response.”
Tom decided to go a bit further and also wrote to the various government bodies concerned to remind them of some of the detail and asking them to be clear about things as soon as possible – by the 26th July to be precise. He also popped in a freedom of information request for the paperwork for good measure.
In his letter, Tom suggested that legal issues are at stake here and that repercussions could be huge. What seems strange is the lack of response from those government bodies. You can imagine it might perhaps take a few days to draft a response, but it’s now been more than two weeks since his letter was sent. Maybe they disagree amongst themselves – or simply don’t know what to do about it….
In this latest shortcast Tom tells us in more detail what his letter said and the asks that he made in it.