Natural England have announced they are revoking three general licences for controlling certain wild birds as of Thursday 25 April 2019.
These licences (GL 04/05/06) cover 16 species of birds including several members of the crow family, Canada goose, some gulls and pigeons.
It’s expected that the licences will be replaced overtime indications are that some will be available from 29th April 2019 however this is to be confirmed.
Once the licences have been revoked and until new licences are issued, anyone needing to control one of these 16 bird species where there is no reasonable non-lethal alternative will need to apply for an individual licence.
The action is the first stage of a planned review of general and class licences, which will be completed this year.
Natural England’s interim chief executive Marian Spain said:
We recognise this change will cause disruption for some people, but we are working hard to ensure it is kept to a minimum.
We will bring forward interim measures as quickly as possible as the first stage of our planned review of the licences. We want to make sure our licensing system is robust and proportionate, taking into account the needs of wildlife and people.
In limited circumstances, people may be allowed to undertake urgent action in accordance with the existing requirements of section 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Given the short notice of the revocation we join many in the pest community who are concerned about the public health implications. As an ethical pest business and inline with current licences we always seek a non lethal solution in the first instance.