• managing wild birds

    General licences GL04, GL05 and GL06 were issued under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for specified purposes enabling people, lawfully, to take certain actions in relation to various species of wild birds. This included the use of lethal control for purposes of public health and safety, protection of crops and livestock, and the conservation of wildlife.

    I appreciate that the revocation of these licences has caused uncertainty and disruption for those who own and manage land. As I am sure you will be aware, the Government has now taken on responsibility for the future granting or revocation of these types of general licence. However, Natural England will continue to issue individual licences to anybody who needs to act within the law to control wild birds, where there is no reasonable non-lethal alternative.

    On 4 May 2019, the Government launched a consultation on this issue. It is seeking views on the revocation of the specific general licences GL04, GL05 and GL06. This consultation closed on 13 May and there will be a separate review of general licences later this year. I hope the Government will listen carefully to all views that are submitted as part of the current consultation.

    The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee will hold a one-off evidence session on this issue on 21 May 2019. I will follow developments on this closely.