Ruddy ducks: licence to kill or take them

Get a general licence to kill or take ruddy ducks, or damage or destroy their nests and eggs (licence GL21).



This general licence allows authorised people to kill or take ruddy ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis) for conservation purposes. It also allows them to destroy or damage the ducks’ nests and eggs.

You are an authorised person if you’re:

  • 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.

How you must use this licence

With this licence you can use a:

  • semi-automatic weapon
  • hand-held or hand-propelled net to take birds whilst not in flight
  • cage trap which does not have to satisfy section 8(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act

You must kill birds in a quick and humane manner and observe other animal welfare laws. You can’t sell the birds or their eggs for human consumption.