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General licences

General licences are issued by government agencies to provide a legal basis for people to carry out a range of activities relating to wildlife. By definition you do not need to apply for general licences but you are required by law to abide by their terms and conditions.

General licences are renewed annually in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These general licences are made available on the websites of the relevant government agencies and include those general licences relevant to the all year round control of ‘pest birds’ such as carrion and hooded crows, magpies and woodpigeon. Control methods allowed under general licence may include shooting; the destruction of eggs and nests; and the use of cage traps such as larsen traps, larsen mates and multi-catch traps.

The rest of this webpage contains the latest information for the general licences in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Click here for the full list of current English General Licences


Click here for the current Scottish General Licences


Click here for the current Welsh General Licences

Northern Ireland

Click here for the Northern Ireland General Licences

Find out more

More general information is available from the BASC website on the control of avian and mammalian pests and predators, including relevant BASC codes of practice.

Click here for information on Pest and Predator Control

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