BASC has today issued the following new outline guidance around the use of general licences in England. It includes an update of the association’s contact with government on this issue and advice for when the interim licences expire on February 29.


If you control pest species under general licence you need to be aware of the following:

In England, the interim general licences issued by Defra are due to expire on 29th February.

  • Legally robust general licences are essential for protecting biodiversity, agriculture and human health. This is a key priority and BASC will continue to fight for a workable system.
  • BASC has held meetings at Cabinet level, with Defra and written to the government pressing them to get their act together and ensure protection of human health, agriculture, flora and fauna can continue. Letters to government can be read here:
    Secretary of State letter 24.01.20 - Failure to protect Red and Amber listed species
    Secretary of State - GL Interim Extension and EU Designated sites WJ - Pre-Action Protocol Letter 07.02.20
  • It is simply not acceptable that a second breeding season should be left unprotected because of legal wrangles between Wild Justice and Defra.
  • BASC has given notice that should this matter come to court we will register as an interested party to put our case before the judge.
  • We have urged Defra to extend the current licences to allow their review to be completed while ensuring that necessary control continues to take place.

What you need to know

For further information please contact:

England: 01244 573 019
Scotland: 01350 723 226
Wales: 01244 573 029
Northern Ireland: 028 9260 5050

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