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.



From 1 January 2021, you must follow the conditions of general licence GL42 to control certain target birds for the purposes of preventing serious damage.

The main changes to the licence conditions are:

  1. Species that can be controlled under licence are listed by the 6 serious damage purposes: livestock attacks; livestock feedstuffs and spread of disease; crops including fruit and vegetables; timber; fisheries; inland waters.
  2. Indian house crow has been added to the licence.
  3. Licence users must comply with the standard licence conditions for trapping wild birds and using decoy birds in traps (WML-GL33).
  4. 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.

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Published 1 January 2021