New General Licences for Bird Control Released by DEFRA

Date: 19th June 2019
Categories: Research, Industry News


New General Licences for Bird Control Released by DEFRA

Three new general licences for the killing or taking of wild birds in England were issued on Friday 14 June, by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) 

The recent call for evidence demonstrated a range of impacts that individuals and groups experienced as a result of the revocation of licences GL04, 05 and 06. Including: 

  • Crow attacks on lambs and ewes during lambing, 
  • The risk of predation for eggs and fledglings of birds of conservation concern.
  • Public health issues caused by pigeons in urban areas

The new licences will allow users to control certain species of wild birds in order to:

  • Conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (WML GL34)
  • Preserve public health or public safety (WML GL35)
  • Prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (WML GL36)

The three new general licences cover species and specified purposes that Defra considers appropriate in light of the information gathered through that exercise and other relevant evidence, including statutory advice from Natural England. At this stage, the new licences will not apply to European protected sites.

NEW LICENCES ARE: 

1. General licence to kill or take certain species of wild birds to conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (GL34) 

- Species covered: Carrion Crow, jackdaw, jay, magpie, rook, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, monk parakeet, ring-necked parakeet, sacred ibis and Indian house-crow

2. General licence to kill or take certain species of wild birds to preserve public health or public safety (GL35)

- Species covered: Carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, rook, Canada goose and monk parakeet

3. General licence to kill or take certain species of wild birds to prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (GL36)

- Species covered: Carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, rook, woodpigeon, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, monk parakeet and ring-necked parakeet

The licences will be valid until 29 February 2020. In the meantime, Defra will lead a review of the longer-term general licensing arrangements. Defra will work closely on this review with Natural England, who have already indicated the need to examine a wider range of general and class licences.


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