General licences for bird control: major changes to licensing requirements
Natural England is revoking three general licences for controlling certain wild birds as of Thursday 25 April 2019. These licences (GL 04/05/06) cover 16 species of birds including several members of the crow family, Canada goose, some gulls and pigeons.
The change follows a legal challenge to the way the licences have been issued, which could mean users who rely on them are not acting lawfully.
Natural England is working at pace to put in place over the next few weeks alternative measures to allow lawful control of these bird species to continue where necessary. In the meantime, once the licences have been revoked and until new licences are issued, anyone needing to control one of these 16 bird species where there is no reasonable non-lethal alternative will need to apply for an individual licence.
The action is the first stage of a planned review of general and class licences, which will be completed this year.
For more information, and what to do if you use a general license, visit Natural England’s website.