BASC has responded to Natural England’s consultation – ‘General licences under wildlife legislation in England’ – which is proposing to make several significant changes to wildlife general licences.

A copy of the full BASC response is available on its website at but a number of key points made by BASC in its response are as follows:

• BASC has recommended keeping Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls on the general licence to conserve wild birds based on evidence submitted by consultees; and keeping provisions which allow the option of killing and trapping Herring Gulls on the general licence for preserving public health and public safety.

• BASC supports the consolidation of bird sales general licences into one for live birds and one for dead birds but that Barnacle Geese and Greenland White-fronted Geese should continue to be excluded from sales of dead birds under general licence.

• BASC does not support the proposal of providing guidance on what might constitute documentary evidence for persons relying on general licences relating to the sale of captive bred birds, such as mallard.

• BASC does not support the implementation of reporting requirements for a general licence in relation to House sparrows, Starlings, Robins and Blackbirds. If reporting is deemed necessary, then this should be by the current system of issuing specific licences on application.

BASC’s policy development manager, Dr Conor O’Gorman, said: “The closing date for this consultation is 13 March so people still have time to put their points across to Natural England. This is especially important for proposals relating to Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls.”


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