Bats play a crucial role in the ecosystem, eating vast quantities of pest insects. They are already under threat from habitat loss, overuse of pesticides and disease yet the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).in the UK is allowing the destruction of hundreds of bats roosts every year.
All of Britain’s bats are legally protected and destruction of bat roosts is only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Somehow, “exceptional circumstances” were found for 1,300 last year.
This is ridiculous as there is no good reason for destroying so very many roosts. A handful for safety or health reasons, perhaps. Over a thousand must mean that the vast majority were destroyed just because they were inconvenient to somebody – not a valid reason for putting already threatened animals in even more danger.
Tell Defra to get serious about protecting Britain’s disappearing wildlife and stop granting destructive licenses so freely.
We the undersigned ask that you stop granting derogation licenses allowing the otherwise illegal destruction of bat roosts so freely.
Over 1,300 such licenses were granted last year, an incredible number. While there are occasions where a bat roost might need to be destroyed for safety reasons, it is hard to see how valid reasons could have been found for such a huge number.
Britain’s bats are already in critical danger, and it is beginning to look like DEFRA’s amazingly lax standards are one of the reasons why.
We ask that you put a stop on making it so easy for somebody to damage our disappearing bats and tighten standards immediately. A bat roost should only be destroyed under truly exceptional circumstances, which should mean less than a dozen a year, and often none. They certainly should not be demolished whenever somebody with political clout finds one inconvenient.
Thank you for your attention.