Where do you stand within the general licence saga?
Conditions to remain the same as GL43 is renewed
The general licence that permits the release of pheasants and red-legged partridges on and within 500m of the boundary of European protected sites in England has been renewed for the next 12 months.
Known as GL43, the licence contains conditions relating to the numbers of pheasants and red-legged partridges which can be released and a legal requirement to inform Natural England of such a release. If the release activity on a European protected site falls outside of the GL43 conditions, then an individual licence will have to be applied for from Natural England. Further information can be found here
GL 43 licence will run from 31 May 2022 to 30 May 2023.
BASC is advising members that there are no substantial changes to the conditions of the new licence, although there is additional clarification around the consenting process on certain Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
In practice, European protected sites are also designated as an SSSI and can be subject to a requirement to gain consent for certain activities on the site itself. Members can contact our consenting team with further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that if you are releasing outside of European protected sites and their buffer zones you still have to comply with other legal requirements, such as applicable SSSI rules and completing the poultry register.
GL43 was initiated in May 2021 as part of an interim licensing regime introduced by the Government following a withdrawn legal challenge and subsequent consultation. The legislation which applies to the interim licencing regime is subject to a sunset clause and ceases in 2025. BASC continues to engage with the government on this licence.