Chris Packham among those challenging Natural England over licence to slaughter certain wild birds

The killing of thousands of “pest” birds each year including crows, rooks, jackdaws, magpies and woodpigeons is to be challenged in court by wildlife campaigners including Chris Packham.

Wild Justice, a group newly created by Packham and fellow conservationists Mark Avery and Ruth Tingay, is launching legal action against Natural England, the government’s conservation watchdog, for issuing a general licence that allows the unlimited slaughter of certain wild birds all year round.

Related: Is it cruel to set up nets that prevent birds nesting?

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