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If you’re a land owner, occupier or other authorised person you can use this general licence to carry out a range of otherwise prohibited activities against certain wild birds. You don’t need to apply for this general licence but you must meet its conditions and follow its instructions.
You are an authorised person if you’re one of the following:
the land owner, occupier or anyone authorised by the owner or occupier
authorised in writing by the local authority
authorised in writing by any England, Scotland or Wales conservation body, a district board for fisheries or local fisheries committee
authorised in writing by the Environment Agency, a water undertaker or a sewerage undertaker
You can only use this licence to preserve public health or public safety.
You can’t use this licence to kill birds because they are damaging your property, such as your car or house, or if they’re a nuisance.
Birds you can catch alive or kill with this licence
You can take or kill these birds and damage, take or destroy their nests, or take or destroy their eggs:
lesser black-backed gulls
pigeons (feral and woodpigeon)
You can’t take or kill herring gulls, but you can take, damage or destroy their nests, or take or destroy their eggs.
You must still follow animal welfare laws and kill birds in a quick and humane manner.
You can eat birds killed under this licence, but (other than woodpigeons) you can’t sell them for human consumption.
How you can catch alive or kill wild birds
In addition to other legal methods, this licence lets you use a:
cage trap that doesn’t meet the size requirements of the Wildlife and Countryside Act
hand-held or hand-propelled net to take birds not in flight
For feral pigeons only, you can also use:
a device to illuminate a target
sighting devices for night shooting
mirrors, lighting or other dazzling devices
If you use a cage trap you can only use the following decoy birds: