You may need a wildlife licence to kill, cull, remove or disturb the habitats of particular species if they’re legally protected. You’ll usually need to have a good reason too (eg they’re attacking your crops or causing a public health problem).

Wildlife protection laws are different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Contact the organisation in your area to find out which species are protected and what you can and can’t do.

England

Contact Wildlife Management and Licensing at Natural England for advice on dealing with birds and animals on your land.

Wildlife Management and Licensing wildlife@naturalengland.org.uk
0845 6014523
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Report any suspected poisoning of a bird or animal to the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
0800 321600
Open 24 hours a day
Find out about call charges

Northern Ireland

You’ll need a licence to:

  • remove bats from your building or disturb their habitat for development work
  • kill or move certain birds, or take their eggs
  • keep or breed some birds of prey

You can apply for a licence online from the Biodiversity Unit, part of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. You can also get advice on related topics, such as using rat poison on your land or photographing wildlife.

Biodiversity Unit
028 9056 9605
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Scotland

Find out your legal responsibilities for the protection of wildlife.

Scottish Natural Heritage also has information on activities that need a licence and how to apply for one.

Wales

The Welsh Assembly Government can advise on managing wildlife, eg badgers on your land.

If moles are causing damage or harm to agricultural land (eg damaging plant growth or grass-cutting machinery), you can only control them by trapping them or gassing them using aluminium phosphide.

Report any suspected poisoning of a bird or animal to the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
0800 321600
Open 24 hours a day
Find out about call charges