Wild Birds: General Licences for England 2022 - 2023

We have welcomed the reissuing by Defra of the three General Licences for the control of certain wild birds for the purposes of: conserving wild birds, flora and fauna of conservation concern (GL40); preserving public health or safety (GL41); and the prevention of serious damage (GL42). The Licences, which came into effect on 1 January, are valid for two years to 31 December 2023, and this table shows the species of wild bird that can be controlled for the purposes of each licence. 

There remain issues with some aspects of the licences which we will continue to discuss with the government, but on the whole they allow farmers and land managers to manage avian pest species for most legitimate reasons. The clarification that gamebirds can be classed as livestock whilst they are dependent on the provision of food, water, or shelter for their survival is also helpful confirmation that the General Licences can be used to prevent serious damage to pheasants and partridges in such circumstances.

Whilst it is not necessary to apply for these licences, it is essential that the terms and conditions of use for each is complied with before carrying out any lethal control. Details for each licence can be found here.

Wild Birds: General Licences for Wales 2023

There are no changes since Natural Resources Wales (NRW) last published licence in July 2022, following an extensive review.  We are expecting another review in 2023 for 2024 licencing but for now you access the most up to date general licences here.

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