General Licences - Wales

Welsh general licences update

Earlier this year NRW held a wild bird review, consulting on their proposals for the shooting and trapping of wild birds and the destruction of eggs and nests under general and specific licences in Wales. BASC submitted a comprehensive response to the consultation, outlining a number of concerns regarding the proposals.

Given the scale of the response to the consultation NRW have taken the decision to reissue the four general licences which authorise lethal control (GL001, GL002, GL004 and GL005) unchanged from 1 January to the 30 June 2022.

Steve Griffiths, BASC Wales Director commented “Given that these general licences were due to expire on 31 December 2021 we are pleased that NRW has taken this decision as it helps provide some clarity for general licence users. BASC have been clear and consistent in our ask for a workable licensing system that is based on evidence and we continue to highlight this to decision makers.”

NRW are going to use this time to consider the best way forward in relation to the proposals outlined the consultation paper. They aim to publish the outcome of their review, including any changes to general licences, at least two months before the reissued general licences expire.

Please note that this does not apply to the renewal of NRWs other general licences which will be renewed for 12 months as normal. Applications for specific licences to control wild birds should also continue to be made as normal.

2022 Welsh general licences

Rook and collared dove

You may not kill or take rooks or collared doves under the Welsh general licences.

If you need to kill or take rooks or collared doves you will need to apply for an individual licence from NRW.  If you are a BASC member and need advice on applying for an individual licence please email our game and gundogs team or call 01244 573 019.

Protected sites

The general licences are not valid in, or within 300 metres of protected sites in Wales. In addition, for one protected site – the Dyfi Estuary SSSI – general licences are not valid within 500 metres of the site boundary. A list of protected sites where the new general licences are not valid can be found in an Annex at the end of each of the general licences.

If you need to carry out pest bird control within any of the listed protected sites you will need to apply for an individual licence from NRW. If you are a BASC member and need advice on applying for an individual licence please email our game and gundogs team or call 01244 573 019.

GL001 – Prevention of serious damage to crops and livestock
Valid from 1 January – 30 June 2022

This general licence is for the purpose of preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit, or to prevent the spread of disease to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit.

It authorises the killing or taking of Canada goose, carrion crow, jackdaw, feral pigeon, magpie and wood pigeon. This includes damaging or destroying their nests and taking or destroying their eggs. It also authorises the use of carrion crow, jackdaw and magpie as decoys in cage traps.

Click here for more information on GL001.

GL002 – Preservation of public health
Valid from 1 January – 30 June 2022

This general licence is for the purpose of preserving public health and preventing the spread of disease.

It authorises the killing or taking of feral pigeon. This includes damaging or destroying their nests and taking or destroying their eggs. It also authorises the use of any device for illuminating a target or any sighting device for night shooting; the use of any form of artificial lighting or any mirror or other dazzling device; or of any handheld or hand propelled net to take birds whilst not in flight.

Click here for information on GL002.

GL004 – Conservation of wild birds
Valid from 1 January – 30 June 2022

This general licence is for the purpose of conserving wild birds.

It authorises the killing or taking of carrion crow, jackdaw, jay and magpie. This includes damaging or destroying their nests and taking or destroying their eggs. It also authorises the use of carrion crow, jackdaw, jay and magpie as decoys in cage traps.

The above control methods are authorised to conserve only the chicks and eggs of bird species listed in Annex 1 of the licence.

Click here more information on GL004.

GL005 – Allows the management of the ruddy duck
Valid from 1 January – 30 June 2022

This general licence allows the killing or taking or destruction of the eggs of ruddy duck.

Click here for more information on GL005.

Information on other general licences and specific licences in Wales can be found here.

Latest press releases – Wales general licences