Invasive Alien Species Order 2019 - A Draft Response
We have created the below draft letter that can be sent to Natural England and Defra, in response to the Invasive Alien Species Order 2019. We would also encourage you to write to your local MP and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Personalising the letters with your own experiences will be more effective, so please do add comments before sending on.
For more information on the Order please click here.
The Rt Hon George Eustice MP
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3JR
Dear Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
I am writing to you to share my concerns about the recently implemented EU Regulation on ‘Invasive Alien Species’, which affects muntjac deer and grey squirrels.
I urge Defra to reconsider the decision to revoke release licences for these species. The number of muntjac deer and grey squirrels released from rescue organisations is completely insignificant compared with the overall populations and will certainly not contribute to the supposed ‘threat to forestry or existing populations of red squirrels’.
Allowing wildlife centres to release a very small number of these
rehabilitated individuals will have no impact on the numbers in the wild. However, implementing this regulation will have a massive emotional and traumatic effect on the wildlife centre staff and on the members of the public who find sick, injured or orphaned grey squirrels and muntjac deer.
The Government is stating that the animals do not have to be euthanased but can be retained in captivity. I am not sure there are many rescue
centres that can cope with housing wild squirrels and muntjac in the numbers required for the time required. Establishments would very rapidly become full or overrun, creating welfare issues and would ultimately lead to the choice between refusal to admit the casualty into the wildlife centre, or inevitable euthanasia due to lack of available space and resources. Does this not seem excessive given that the release of very small numbers is completely insignificant?
I strongly urge you to reinstate the licences to release grey squirrels and muntjac deer so that wildlife rescue centres can continue doing the good work they do.