New general licences for the control of wild birds - Defra

New general licences issued ahead of them coming into force on 1 January 2021.

Defra has today (9 November) published three new general licences for the control of wild birds, ahead of them coming into force on 1 January 2021.

This follows the completion of Defra’s review and user survey into general licensing, details of which will be published at a later date.

The new licences (GL40, GL41, GL42) will replace the current general licences (GL34, GL35 and GL36) which expire on the 31 December. From 1st January 2021, licence users will need to act in accordance with the new licence conditions.

General licences are permissive licences, meaning that users do not need to apply for them, but they must comply with their terms and conditions, when undertaking licensed acts. They allow users to kill or take certain species of wild birds for defined purposes such as preventing serious damage to certain commodities such as livestock and crops, for the purposes of conserving wild birds, plants and animals, or for public health and safety reasons.

The publication of the new licences will allow user groups to become acquainted with the changes before they officially come into force on 1 January.

Defra will publish the finalised licences, with further detail in two areas - conditions on protected sites and trapping – later this year, in advance of the licences coming into effect on 1 January 2021.

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