General Licences - Northern Ireland

BASC can confirm that the general licences for 2021/2022 have been renewed unchanged and will run until 10 September 2022.

General licences in Northern Ireland are issued annually by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for the shooting and trapping of certain species of birds including carrion/hooded crow, jackdaw, rook, magpie, woodpigeon, feral pigeon, great black-backed gull, herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, house sparrow and starling.

There are three general licences for pest birds and, while you don’t need to apply for these licences to control the species concerned, you are required by law to abide by their respective terms and conditions.

Click here for general licence TPG1 for the purpose of protecting public health or public safety.

Click here for general licence TPG2 for the purpose of preventing disease and protecting crops
and livestock.

Click here for general licence TPG3 for the purpose of conserving wild birds.

Click here for an overview of wildlife licensing in NI.

BASC's position on general licences in Northern Ireland

In July, BASC called for the NI general licences to be renewed unchanged for a further year following the withdrawal of a consultation proposing the removal of several species from the NI general licences.

We are grateful to the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and NIEA for standing firm and renewing the general licences in the face of legal threats and ultimatums from the England-based lobby group Wild Justice.

We hold the firm view that it is the Minister, his department, the AERA Committee, our elected NI Assembly representatives, key NI stakeholders, and those residing in Northern Ireland most likely to be affected, who are best placed to consider and decide on any proposed changes to general licences, as issued by the NIEA.