Some species of wildlife have legal protection. Natural England issues licences on behalf of the government that allow activities affecting protected species that are otherwise prohibited.
Some licences allow lethal control. Before issuing a licence, Natural England carefully considers the circumstances of a case, the justification for it and the impact on the species as a whole.
This data does not include licences issued under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 for the purpose of the prevention of the spread of disease. This information has been published on GOV.UK.
Wildlife licences issued in 2019
The first document shows the number of wildlife licences issued in 2019 for 4 main categories:
- mitigation licences for European protected species
- class licences
- science and conservation
- species management
Licences issued for the control of birds from 2014 to 2019
The second document shows the number of birds, nests and eggs covered on licences that may include lethal control. The data is from 2014 to 2019.
Annual returns show that the actual numbers affected are significantly less than the numbers covered on the licences. Due to the complexity of return information it’s not possible to publish these figures.