Wild birds: licence to keep them for rehabilitation (GL07)

Get a general licence to keep wild birds so you can rehabilitate them.


Licence for authorised people to keep wild birds without registering so you can rehabilitate them (GL07)

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As an authorised person, this general licence lets you keep these birds for up to 15 days without registering:

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

You do not need to apply for this general licence but you must meet its conditions and follow its instructions.

When you can use this licence

You’re authorised to use this licence if you:

  • have held a licence to keep birds with an expiry date of 31 January 1996
  • have been the registered keeper of 3 disabled wild-bred birds of the type listed above, and have returned them to the wild and notified the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • are an RSPCA inspector
  • are an RSPB official

You can only keep birds with this licence if:

  • the bird is disabled
  • you plan to rehabilitate and release it
Published 31 December 2013
Last updated 1 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2019
  2. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2018
  3. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2017
  4. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2016
  5. Added updated general licence. New version valid between 1 January and 31 December 2015.
  6. First published.