Know Where You Stand With General Licences

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have recently reviewed the current General Licences for controlling certain bird species in Wales.  General Licences allow for certain actions to be carried out for controlling a list of bird species without the need to apply for a specific licence.  However, you must ensure that you understand and comply with the conditions of the respective licence in use.

General Licenses GL001, GL002, GL003, GL004 and GL016 were considered unlawful under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and therefore have been revoked and replaced with:

  • GL001 – Licence to kill or take certain wild birds to prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit or to prevent the spread of disease to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit. Species covered: Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Canadian Goose.
  • GL002 – Licence to kill or take certain wild birds for the purpose of preserving public health and preventing the spread of disease to humans. Species covered: Feral Pigeon
  • GL004 – Licence to kill or take certain wild birds for the purpose of conserving wild birds. Species covered: Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Jay
  • GL016 - Licence to take and release alive certain wild birds from food premises for the purpose of preserving public health and public safety. Species covered: Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great tit, Pied Wagtail

For more information click here.  If you are required to control a species which is not listed due to health and safety, conservation or to prevent damage to livestock, a specific licence must be applied for here.

General Licences remain in place until 31 December 2019.  It is proposed that these Licences, which are reviewed annually, will be reissued on 1 January 2020 without any significant changes, followed by an evidence based mid-year review.


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