Defra asks court to dismiss Wild Justice judicial review

Defra has asked a court to refuse Wild Justice’s request for a judicial review seeking to restrict gamebird releases. Defra has described the request as “vexatious” and “pointless” and is also asking to be awarded its costs.

The government’s move has is being described as extremely positive news by four leading shooting membership organisations.

Defra’s submission is in response to an attempt by celebrity Chris Packham’s group to amend their judicial review to ensure the 2021 release of gamebirds and the review currently being undertaken by Defra on gamebird releasing is not carried out unlawfully. In its submissions, Defra told the court Wild Justice is “shooting at the wrong target” and should be refused permission to change the judicial review.

A spokesperson BASC, Countryside Alliance, the Game Farmers’ Association and the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, who are registered as interested parties in the case, said: “This judicial review is clearly misdirected in terms of the law and serves no purpose. Resources and expertise should be going towards reviewing gamebird releases, not unnecessary and pointless court cases.

“Wild Justice’s application to amend the grounds of their judicial review is an admission that their claim was misconceived. As interested parties we ask that Wild Justice do the right thing and drop the case now and await the outcome of Defra’s review.”