Statutory guidance

Wild birds: licence to kill or take to prevent serious damage (GL42)

As a land owner, occupier or authorised person, use this general licence to kill or take certain wild birds to prevent serious damage.

Applies to England



You do not need to apply for general licence GL42, but you must comply with its conditions.

If you need help, email:

Published 1 January 2021
Last updated 3 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Footnote 7 has been updated to clarify the definition of livestock. This change has been made in line with S16(5)(d) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

  2. From 1 January 2022, this licence will be valid for 2 years, until 31 December 2023. Definitions for ‘serious damage’ and ‘livestock’ have been added to the footnotes. Birds you can control under this licence are listed in Table 1 as permitted target birds. Advice on other relevant legislation has also been added to help you take action under this licence.

  3. First published.