Countryside Alliance Ireland supports MEP’s decision not to review European Nature Directives

Countryside Alliance Ireland is pleased that the European Parliament has listened to the concerns of the public and shooting community and today (2 February) voted not to review the Birds and Habitats Directives (the Nature Directives) under the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).

By voting to support the mid-term review of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy, by 592 to 52 votes, MEPs have shown their support and commitment to these two directives which are the cornerstones of European nature law

Lyall Plant, chief executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland, said: “The Nature Directives have played an essential part in increasing our biodiversity and wildlife, with Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) forming the backbone of our conservation efforts. Management for shooting plays an important part in delivery of the Nature Directives and we are glad to see it stay that way. Opening and amending the directives would only have led to a weakening of them which could have threatened both our countryside and shooting.

“It was clear that the European Commission’s aim was to reopen the directives under the REFIT process, but thankfully MEPs listened to the responses from over 550,000 members of public, of which 94% stated the current laws are adequate and effective. The Nature Directives have been successful and by working together we can succeed in halting biodiversity loss. There is no doubt that shooting plays a key part of that process.

For more information, contact the Countryside Alliance press office on + 44 (0)207 840 9220 or

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