Statutory guidance

Wild birds: licence to kill or take for conservation purposes (GL40)

As a land owner, occupier or authorised person, use this general licence to kill or take certain wild birds to conserve wild birds and to conserve flora and fauna.



From 1 January 2021, you must follow the conditions of general licence GL40 to control certain target birds for the purposes of conserving endangered wild birds, flora and fauna. The main changes to the licence conditions are:

  1. Species that can be controlled under licence are listed against 3 conservation purposes: wild birds; flora; fauna.
  2. Conservation of wild birds refers to red and amber listed birds.
  3. Jay can only be controlled for the purpose of conserving red and amber listed woodland birds.
  4. Jackdaw and rook are removed from the licence.
  5. Licence users must comply with the standard licence conditions for trapping wild birds and using decoy birds in traps (WML-GL33).
  6. You may use the licence on or near a protected site as long as you have any necessary consent from Natural England to do so and comply with any site-specific conditions on the licence.

Email any enquiries to:

Published 1 January 2021