You can apply for a licence if you need to control wild birds to prevent disease or serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters.
Criteria you must meet to get a licence
Natural England will only issue you with a licence if you can show that:
- actual damage or a problem is occurring, or likely to occur and the target species is causing it
- you have tried non-lethal solutions or you can show that they would not be effective or practical
- there are no suitable alternative methods of control
- action you take under the licence will contribute to preventing damage or resolving the problem
- action you take under the licence will not negatively affect the conservation status of the wild bird
If your application does not meet all these criteria, Natural England will reject your application.
Using the licence
You can use this licence to control wild birds, their nests and eggs by:
- disturbing them
- killing them
- taking them
- using a prohibited method of control on them
If you use a trap or decoy bird, you must follow the standard licence conditions in WML-GL33.
Before you apply
Before you apply for a licence, check if your circumstances are covered by one of Defras general licences for birds.
You may be able to control wild birds using alternative non-lethal measures. Read about the