BAE receives backing to kill thousands of seabirds on Lancashire coast

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: A flock of gulls A flock of gulls

BAE Systems has secured government backing for plans to kill thousands of seabirds on the Lancashire coast.

But the RSPB has asked the High Court to intervene to stop the cull, as it is concerned it would be setting a dangerous precedent for bird conservation in the UK.

BAE wants to reduce the numbers of lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls in the Ribble Estuary, because of fears of birds being sucked into jet engines taking off from the airfield at its Warton site.

The site is used for test flights, including planes whose parts are constructed at Samlesbury.

The Environment Secretary approved plans to kill 552 pairs of lesser black-backed gulls, and to allow further operations to maintain the population at the reduced level for 10 years, as long as the population of birds does not drop below 3,348 pairs.

Proposals were also approved for further measures to be taken to maintain the herrying gull population at the reduced level that followed an earlier cull.

In a statement, BAE said the gulls ‘present a risk of bird strike to aircraft operating from Warton airfield’ and ‘BAE systems has sought to reduce this risk’.

The RSPB has opposed the cull, saying that populations of lesser black-backed gulls were in ‘substantial decline’ across the UK, and in need of protection.

At the High Court in London David Forsdick, QC for the RSPB, told judge Mr Justice Mitting: “As far as we are aware this has never happened before in the UK and that is why the RSPB is so concerned to have the decision set aside.”

The RSPB said it intends to refer the decision to the European courts if the High Court challenge is not successful.

But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has argued that the cull is legal.

A spokesman said the action was necessary because the gulls were impacting on air safety, and in this instance, ‘human life was more important than wildlife’.

Comments (8)

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3:18pm Wed 14 May 14

Catkin says...

I am against these type of culls; there are other solutions to deterring birds from specific areas, which whoever has come up with this plan would know. The worry with mass culls like this is that they can lead to loop holes and the original intention being abused. Our wildlife is under constant threat from too many problems to add to them. Perhaps it would be easier if there were no wildlife left on the planet to hinder plans and get in the way?
I am against these type of culls; there are other solutions to deterring birds from specific areas, which whoever has come up with this plan would know. The worry with mass culls like this is that they can lead to loop holes and the original intention being abused. Our wildlife is under constant threat from too many problems to add to them. Perhaps it would be easier if there were no wildlife left on the planet to hinder plans and get in the way? Catkin
  • Score: 9

5:53pm Wed 14 May 14

phil kernot says...

And so you can build planes to sell to country's that want war and when thay use them on us greed is your gain and karma ,,will get you in the end , these are not commercial airlines just planes for combat ,,, built to kill ,,,
And so you can build planes to sell to country's that want war and when thay use them on us greed is your gain and karma ,,will get you in the end , these are not commercial airlines just planes for combat ,,, built to kill ,,, phil kernot
  • Score: 5

6:56pm Wed 14 May 14

ghost of sceptic says...

There is something very wrong about killing wildlife to faciliate weapons of destruction used to kill people. In a so called civilised country you would hope there could be a more humane soloution. It may be legal but it is not right. BAE hang your heads in shame.
There is something very wrong about killing wildlife to faciliate weapons of destruction used to kill people. In a so called civilised country you would hope there could be a more humane soloution. It may be legal but it is not right. BAE hang your heads in shame. ghost of sceptic
  • Score: 5

10:29pm Wed 14 May 14

workaholic says...

Are you kidding! Get rid of them all. I live on the coast and these things
s--t bricks !! Its like removing concrete everytime l have to clean my car !!!!
Are you kidding! Get rid of them all. I live on the coast and these things s--t bricks !! Its like removing concrete everytime l have to clean my car !!!! workaholic
  • Score: -1

8:11am Thu 15 May 14

A Darener says...

The "defence industry" is just that, it is not the "attack industry". No weapon has ever killed anybody, except by accident. It is the person behind the weapon that "kills".
I worked in the defence industry for twenty five years. I didn't kill anybody but people may have been killed by the equipment I helped develop and supplied to armed services. Do I feel responsible for any of the world's conflicts? No! I feel a sense of pride that I could have helped prevent a Third World War.
The "defence industry" is just that, it is not the "attack industry". No weapon has ever killed anybody, except by accident. It is the person behind the weapon that "kills". I worked in the defence industry for twenty five years. I didn't kill anybody but people may have been killed by the equipment I helped develop and supplied to armed services. Do I feel responsible for any of the world's conflicts? No! I feel a sense of pride that I could have helped prevent a Third World War. A Darener
  • Score: -3

2:29pm Thu 15 May 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

A Darener wrote:
The "defence industry" is just that, it is not the "attack industry". No weapon has ever killed anybody, except by accident. It is the person behind the weapon that "kills".
I worked in the defence industry for twenty five years. I didn't kill anybody but people may have been killed by the equipment I helped develop and supplied to armed services. Do I feel responsible for any of the world's conflicts? No! I feel a sense of pride that I could have helped prevent a Third World War.
You utter filth bag I hope karma takes hold of you.
That is a typical response from a Defence worker ( murderer)
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: The "defence industry" is just that, it is not the "attack industry". No weapon has ever killed anybody, except by accident. It is the person behind the weapon that "kills". I worked in the defence industry for twenty five years. I didn't kill anybody but people may have been killed by the equipment I helped develop and supplied to armed services. Do I feel responsible for any of the world's conflicts? No! I feel a sense of pride that I could have helped prevent a Third World War.[/p][/quote]You utter filth bag I hope karma takes hold of you. That is a typical response from a Defence worker ( murderer) 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: -2

4:17pm Thu 15 May 14

A Darener says...

Just be grateful to the defence industry and the thousands that lost their lives in fighting tyranny to allow you to say such despicable things.
Just be grateful to the defence industry and the thousands that lost their lives in fighting tyranny to allow you to say such despicable things. A Darener
  • Score: 1

8:50pm Thu 15 May 14

Copperhead says...

2 for 5p ridesagain wrote:
A Darener wrote:
The "defence industry" is just that, it is not the "attack industry". No weapon has ever killed anybody, except by accident. It is the person behind the weapon that "kills".
I worked in the defence industry for twenty five years. I didn't kill anybody but people may have been killed by the equipment I helped develop and supplied to armed services. Do I feel responsible for any of the world's conflicts? No! I feel a sense of pride that I could have helped prevent a Third World War.
You utter filth bag I hope karma takes hold of you.
That is a typical response from a Defence worker ( murderer)
2 for 5p --
you are a moron. You are obviously one of the many left-wing idiots who decry and criticise anything and anyone that doesn't fit in with your stupid pacifist views.
We NEED a defence industry.
YOU may not believe in war and killing but unfortunately there are many people on this planet who do. Criticising the defence industry because you don't agree with it is like criticising the security industry because you don't steal things.
Look at the news from Nigeria where those poor girls have been kidnapped by Islamic extremists. Who will free them ? Not pacifists, and that's for sure.
The world is a dangerous place outside the bubble created by reading the Guardian or voting Liberal-Democrat so grow up and face facts.
Anyway - can't they kill those **** gulls - shi**ing everywhere - and give the fighter pilots a bit of practice by letting them machine-gun them all ? Maybe an air-to-air missile with a proximity fuse would kill hundreds with one shot.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p ridesagain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: The "defence industry" is just that, it is not the "attack industry". No weapon has ever killed anybody, except by accident. It is the person behind the weapon that "kills". I worked in the defence industry for twenty five years. I didn't kill anybody but people may have been killed by the equipment I helped develop and supplied to armed services. Do I feel responsible for any of the world's conflicts? No! I feel a sense of pride that I could have helped prevent a Third World War.[/p][/quote]You utter filth bag I hope karma takes hold of you. That is a typical response from a Defence worker ( murderer)[/p][/quote]2 for 5p -- you are a moron. You are obviously one of the many left-wing idiots who decry and criticise anything and anyone that doesn't fit in with your stupid pacifist views. We NEED a defence industry. YOU may not believe in war and killing but unfortunately there are many people on this planet who do. Criticising the defence industry because you don't agree with it is like criticising the security industry because you don't steal things. Look at the news from Nigeria where those poor girls have been kidnapped by Islamic extremists. Who will free them ? Not pacifists, and that's for sure. The world is a dangerous place outside the bubble created by reading the Guardian or voting Liberal-Democrat so grow up and face facts. Anyway - can't they kill those **** gulls - shi**ing everywhere - and give the fighter pilots a bit of practice by letting them machine-gun them all ? Maybe an air-to-air missile with a proximity fuse would kill hundreds with one shot. Copperhead
  • Score: 1

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