Scotland’s general licences ‘largely unchanged’ in 2021, says BASC

The UK’s largest shooting organisation has welcomed the publication of Scotland’s latest general licences, which will come into force on the 1st January 2021.  

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said the three key licences utilised by practitioners to control avian pests were ‘largely unchanged’, with all target species retained across general licences 01, 02 and 03.

The latest licences come into force after an extended period of review by NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) last year, which saw the removal of some target species in the 2020 licences along with the introduction of standing conditions to be adhered to on designated sites.

BASC Scotland Director, Dr Colin Shedden, said: “We welcome the publication of the 2021 general licences, and we are encouraged to see that they are largely unchanged from those issued in April 2020.

“The retention of all target species is particularly welcome, and will permit practitioners to continue conserving wildlife, preserving public health and preventing damage to crops, livestock and foodstuffs. This essential work has continued to take place across much of Scotland despite the disruption caused by coronavirus, which highlights the fundamental importance of general licences in the context of land management.

“We encourage all practitioners working on designated sites to ensure they are complying with the standing conditions. In addition, we encourage practitioners to make applications for individual licences if they are experiencing problems caused by pest species not listed on the general licences.”