General Licences - Wales

Welsh general licences - which come into effect 1 July 2022

There are several substantial changes contained in the new Natural Resources Wales (NRW) general licences which came into effect on 1 July, 2022.  Such changes include the removal of Magpies, Jays and Jackdaws from general licence 004, the licence for conserving wild birds, with Carrion Crows remaining listed in it.  Additionally, GL004 will only be valid between 1 February and the 31 August of the licence granting year.

GL001 the licence for preventing serious damage, now contains a matrix table specifically outlining which birds can be controlled for which purpose. For example, carrion crows can be controlled for preventing serious damage to livestock and livestock feedstuffs but not to prevent serious damage to crops, fruits or vegetables. If you need to carry out pest bird control which is not covered in any of the general licences, you will need to apply for a specific licence from NRW.

It is very important that anyone acting under the general licences reads and understands its terms and conditions prior to carrying out any licensed actions.

Protected sites

For most of the protected sites in Wales, the general licences are not valid in, or within 300 metres. 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.

The number of SSSIs where general licences can be used has increased so please check each new general licence for the updated annex list.  

If you need to carry out pest bird control within any of the listed protected sites, you will need to apply for a specific licence from NRW.

Use of decoy birds

The use of decoy birds is still permitted within the general licences, please ensure all new terms and conditions are followed when using a decoy bird as there are several changes, such changes include any meat or meat-based product used as food for a decoy bird, it must be in chopped or diced form.

Reporting

Under the new general licences If any animal of a European protected species of animal (as defined within the general licence) or any wild bird of prey is captured, killed or injured in the course of action carried out under this licence, NRW must be advised of that fact as soon as practicable. NRW can be contacted on specieslicence@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk.

If you are a BASC member and need advice on applying for an specific licence please email our game and gundogs team or call 01244 573 019.

2022 Welsh general licences

GL001 – Prevention of serious damage to crops and livestock
Valid from 1 July 2022

This general licence is for the purpose of preventing serious damage or spread of disease to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit. There is now a matrix table within GL001, listing which species can be controlled for which specific reason.

Click here for more information on GL001

GL002 – Preservation of public health
Valid from 1 July 2022

This general licence authorises the killing or taking of feral pigeon for the purpose of preserving public health and preventing the spread of disease.

Click here for more information on GL002

GL004 – Conservation of wild birds
Valid from 1 July 2023 – 31 Aug 2023

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

It authorises the killing or taking of carrion crow. The control methods listed in GL004 are authorised to conserve only the chicks and eggs of bird species listed in Annex 1 of the licence and are only authorised between the period 1st February and 31st August of the licence granting year.

Click here for more information on GL004

GL005 – Allows the management of the ruddy duck
Valid from 1 July 2022

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

Click here for more information on the GL005

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