asked Her Majesty's Government:Why, as a protected species, the red squirrel is the responsibility of the Forestry Commission in accordance with Schedule 5 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, when all other such species are the direct responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and whether this will be considered during the current review of this Act. [HL1182]
The Forestry Commission, through the UK Red Squirrel Group, is responsible for delivery of the red squirrel Species Action Plan in England. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has responsibility for policy relating to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which protects the red squirrel (through its inclusion in Schedule 5 to the Act) from being killed, injured or taken from the wild. The current review of the 1981 Act is not concerned with questions of policy responsibility.