NFU Cymru has welcomed the High Court ruling that Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) general licences to control wild birds are lawful.

NFU Cymru rural affairs board chairman Hedd Pugh said: "NFU Cymru is pleased that the High Court has ruled that the general licences to control wild birds issued by NRW are lawful, following a challenge by Wild Justice.

"The NFU legal team intervened in this case as it was concerned about the way in which Wild Justice had interpreted the law relating to the evidence required to enable NRW to issue general licences permitting the lethal control of certain species of wild birds for specific statutory purposes.

We are pleased that the court took the NFU’s points into consideration, confirming that NRW is entitled to assess the available relevant evidence and reach its own conclusions in relation to the issuing of general licences, provided that the assessment is rational.

"The ability to control wild birds for the protection of livestock and crops in certain circumstances is vital for farmers across Wales," he concluded.

Warning over quad bike thefts

NFU Cymru is also warning farmers to be extra vigilant and mindful of on-farm security after the union was made aware of a series of quad bike thefts.

A growing number of farms in the Powys and Monmouthshire areas have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks, with several successful and unsuccessful attempts to steal quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

NFU Cymru president John Davies said:

"Although these most recent thefts occurred in the Mid Wales and South East Wales areas, we’re encouraging farmers across the country to give urgent consideration to their on-farm security.

It seems the coronavirus lockdown restrictions and the cold temperatures are doing little to deter would-be thieves from taking items, such as quad bikes and ATVs which are integral to our daily work, from our farms.

"It goes without saying that prevention is better than the cure and the most prudent advice is to make buildings, fields and vehicles safe and secure – don’t allow yourself and your business to be an easy target."