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WILDLIFE REGULATION MUST NOT BE THROWN TO THE DOGS - GEORGE

November 4, 2003 6:59 PM

Otter at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Jersey Zoo).Responding to reports that Lord Haskins will recommend that the Government's wildlife watchdog, English Nature, be scrapped in favour of a new 'land management' agency, Andrew George MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, said:

"Policy development on the back of Government leak is a completely unacceptable way of managing rural policy. Those whose jobs depend on these changes are not consulted until after decisions are taken and there has been no opportunity for political debate.

"If the Government does intend to implement Lord Haskins' recommendations, it must ensure the independent regulatory role of English Nature is properly protected.

"The best solution for Britain's countryside is to bring the scatter gun of Countryside Agency initiatives and funding opportunities into one pot and devolve them to the local authorities who are better placed to deliver what's really needed."

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