General Licences - Northern Ireland

General licences in Northern Ireland are issued by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for the shooting and trapping of certain species of pest birds. You don’t need to apply to use a general licence, but you are required by law to abide by their terms and conditions.

Click here for an overview of wildlife licensing in NI

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

Northern Ireland general licences consultation withdrawn

BASC has called for the Northern Ireland general licences to be renewed unchanged for a further year. This follows an announcement by the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) that it had withdrawn a consultation proposing the removal of several species from the general licences to kill or take birds due to be renewed in September 2021.

The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) was proposing to completely remove herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, great black-backed gull and rook from its 2021/22 general licences.  However in its discussions with the department, BASC had highlighted a number of concerns regarding the consultation, including the fact that the department had not published the evidence that led to its decision to propose removing these species from its general licences.

BASC had also highlighted an imbalance in the consultation, whereby those who did not support the department’s proposals were required to provide evidence and/or comment, yet those who supported the department’s proposals were not required to provide any further detail.  

In addition, BASC highlighted the fact that while the department had advised that it would still consider individual licences for herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, great black-backed gull and rook, the department did not provide any further detail in relation to the Individual Licences, i.e., the application process, any cost involved, processing timescales and any general or specific conditions which may apply.

BASC has urged the department renew the general licences in September unchanged, for a further year, meanwhile BASC will continue to support DAERA in any review of the general licences, which must be evidence-led.

BASC thanks its individual members and clubs who took the time to share their views on the department’s proposals and the consultation.