Decision Maker Response

Councillor Peter Carlill’s response

Councillor Peter Carlill

Nov 4, 2019 — Many thanks for starting this petition to highlight this issue and show the strength of feeling among local residents and to push for action.

I am clear that this is not a practice I would like to see in the area, or anywhere else for that matter, and certainly not carried out in the fashion these incidents appear to be, so strongly support this campaign.

I have been following up on this issue since the original concerns posted on Facebook and subsequent concerns sent to me directly and working with residents and local wildlife groups to do what we can to put a stop to this.

As well as receiving numerous concerns about the act itself, there were also the appalling instances of posts bragging about these acts, and of dead birds being found in completely inappropriate locations including ones found in residents gardens and on a local football pitch which are a clear risk to public health and safety.

As the shooter has a licence to cull wild geese I began by raising a number of points with Natural England to ask for more detail on the licence to find out whether these acts were carried out legally in line with the regulations and to ask them to formally investigate these incidents.

This is a very serious situation as carrying such a licence does give the licenceholder a responsibility to make sure these acts are carried out in line with the regulations to protect health and safety, and that all other humane methods to deter geese from the land have been attempted first - something which I certainly do not believe has happened in this instance.

Unfortunately after much chasing the only response I had from Natural England were to send me a link to the public documentation available about the terms of the licence rather than to answer any of my specific queries or to respond to my request to investigate these instances.

I therefore contacted our MP Stuart Andrew who is in a position to assert pressure on government agencies and to get this situation investigated and stopped. I shared my information so far with his office some weeks ago and asked that Stuart seek answers to residents' questions and ask that the appropriate agency investigate these acts and the methods used as a matter of urgency - unfortunately I have not yet had a response from his office of any action undertaken.

I was also made aware that some of the licences to kill wild birds are under review and I will be happy to submit the concerns of local residents into this review and to further campaign for changes in the legislation to ensure these licences are fit for purpose going forwards and cannot be used in these dreadful circumstances.

If you have any information you can share with me on this issue to help campaign for change, please contact me on peter.carlill@leeds.gov.uk