Mallard ducks: licence to take eggs and rear and release chicks

Get a general licence to take mallard duck eggs for incubation and rearing in captivity as long as you release them later in the year (licence GL13).


Licence to take mallard duck eggs to incubate and raise the chicks for release into the wild (GL13)

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This general licence lets you take mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) eggs for incubation, rearing in captivity and releasing later in the same year.

This licence only applies if you are:

  • the land owner, occupier or anyone authorised by the owner or occupier
  • authorised in writing by the local authority
  • authorised in writing by any England, Scotland or Wales conservation body, a district board for fisheries or local fisheries committee
  • authorised in writing by the Environment Agency, a water undertaker or a sewerage undertaker

You don’t need to apply for this general licence but you must meet its conditions and follow its instructions. To meet the conditions you must:

  • only take eggs by hand
  • not take eggs after 31 March
  • release any bird hatched from the egg into the wild no later than 31 July, unless it is disabled or has died
  • destroy any unhatched eggs by 31 July
  • not sell the eggs or any birds hatched from them
Published 31 December 2013
Last updated 1 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2018
  2. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2017
  3. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2016
  4. new version GL13 valid 1 January to 31 December 2015
  5. First published.