Northern Ireland

Wildlife licensing

In Northern Ireland, if you want to control pest birds not listed on general licences TPG1, TPG2, or TPG3, you must apply for a wildlife licence to allow you to take or kill birds for a specific reason.

Applications for individual licences are considered by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) which sits within the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

In the case of pest birds, some examples of the conditions under which NIEA will issue licences are:

  • For the purpose of preserving public health or public safety
  • For the purpose of preventing the spread of disease and preventing serious damage to livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber and fisheries
  • For the conservation of wild birds.

Wildlife licensing

The wildlife licence cannot currently be completed online, but rather must be downloaded and printed or completed as a .PDF document.

In order to complete the form, the following detail must be submitted:

  • Name of applicant (this should be the name of the person / business experiencing the issues with the pest birds)
  • Organisation (if carrying out the control on behalf of an organisation)
  • Address (address of the individual / business)
  • Telephone number (contact number for the person / business experiencing the issue)
  • Locality or full address of premises (the address to which the licence application relates, or in the case of a remote area, the name of the townland)
  • Species involved (exact details of the species involved – for example ‘Starling’)
  • Reason for application (requires exact detail of why the particular species needs to be taken or killed and the damage / loss involved)
  • Details of any previous licence (licence number and detail of any wildlife licence previously issued to the applicant by NIEA)
  • Other relevant information (if different to ‘Name of Applicant’ above, add the name of the person nominated to carry out the control, if being done on behalf of the farmer / occupant / business owner, and any detail of wildlife convictions.  In the case of a first-time application, provide details of any previous experience in this or any similar activity)


New applications will normally require an initial site visit with the individual who is experiencing the problem (i.e. the applicant).

There is no charge for the issue of a wildlife licence.

The licence will specify how many birds may be taken or killed, and a time period within which the work must be carried out.

The completed application should be sent to:

Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Klondyke Building, Cromac Avenue, Gasworks Business Park, Lower Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 2JA.

NIEA aims to process all wildlife licence applications within 15 working days.

Under the terms of the licence, you will be required to submit a report at the conclusion of the control work being carried out, or at the expiration of the licence.

The report must be completed even if no action has been taken, and must be returned no later than 1 month after the expiry of the licence.  The report must be signed by the licence holder.

If applying for another licence to continue the existing project, the application should accompany the report at the time of submission.

The holder of the licence must ensure that they comply with all conditions specified on the licence and relevant animal welfare legislation when carrying out the control, i.e. The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern-Ireland) 2011. 

For further information, contact the BASC Northern Ireland Office on 02892 605050 or visit the DAERA website.