General Licences 2023

A pigeon

General Licences are issued by government agencies to provide a legal basis for people to carry out a range of activities relating to wildlife. 

By definition you do not need to apply for General Licences, but you are required by law to abide by their terms and conditions.

The three main General Licences are: for conservation purposes; to prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit; and preserving public health and preventing the spread of disease.

In Wales and Scotland, the General Licences have been reissued and published in advance for 2023. Both sets remain unchanged from the previous years and will come into force 1 January 2023.

In England, General Licences are valid for two years, meaning they do not expire until 31 December 2023. The conditions of the licence therefore remain unchanged from 2022.

In Northern Ireland the current set of General Licences will expire on 31 December 2022. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is due to publish its new general licences for 2023 on 1 January.

BASC has dedicated webpages for each country’s General Licences (EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland). These webpages are continuously updated and are the go-to place for further information and guidance.