Wild birds: licence for vets to rehabilitate them

Get a 6-week general licence to keep wild birds without registering so that you can rehabilitate them (licence GL08).



As a veterinary surgeon or practitioner you can use this general licence for these wild birds:

  • honey buzzards
  • golden eagles
  • white-tailed eagles
  • peregrine falcons
  • goshawks
  • marsh harriers
  • Montagu’s harriers
  • merlins
  • ospreys

You can keep these birds for up to 6 weeks without registering if:

  • the bird is disabled
  • you plan to rehabilitate and release it

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

  • giving the bird professional veterinary treatment
  • recording all treatments you make
  • keeping records of treatments for 2 years from when the bird came into your control