General licences for birds 2021

All species of wild birds in Wales are protected. We issue general licences to allow you to carry out certain actions affecting wild birds which would otherwise be illegal, without the need to apply for a specific licence. General licences are only issued for a particular purpose and most are limited to certain species.

If you plan to use a general licence, you must be satisfied that you are acting within the provisions of that general licence. It is your responsibility to understand and follow the licence conditions. Failure to comply could constitute an offence.

General licences for 2021

General licence 001 – Licence to kill or take certain wild birds to prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit or to prevent the spread of disease to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables or fruit. 

General licence 002 - Licence to kill or take certain wild birds for the purpose of preserving public health and preventing the spread of disease.

General licence 004 - Licence to kill or take certain wild birds for the purpose of conserving certain wild birds.

General licence 005 - Licence to allow the killing or taking or destruction of the eggs of ruddy duck.

General licence 006 - Licence to take birds' eggs from abandoned nest boxes.

General licence 007 - Licence to keep wild birds of species listed on schedule four for rehabilitation.

General licence 008 - Licence to take eggs of mallard duck to rear and release.

General licence 009 - Licence to release wild-bred schedule nine birds.

General licence 010 - Licence to permit the sale of certain captive bred species of live bird.

General licence 011 - Licence to permit the sale and exhibition of mealy redpoll.

General licence 012 - Licence to sell dead wild birds.

General licence 013 - Licence to permit the competitive showing of certain captive-bred live wild birds and allow the keeping of certain birds in show cages for training purposes.

General licence 014 - Licence to permit the incubation of eggs and rearing of chicks of captive bred schedule four birds for up to 15 days without registering.

General licence 015 - Licence for laboratories and scientific institutions to retain biological samples taken during the investigation of offences.

General licence 016 - Licence to take certain wild birds from food premises for the purpose of preserving public health and public safety.

General Licence 018 - Licence to possess dead specimens for research and educational purposes and for the purposes of any public exhibition.

If you would like more information, please contact us by email, or phone us on 0300 065 3000.

Coronavirus regulations

When carrying out any activity under a General Licence, you should follow the latest Welsh Government Coronavirus guidance.

Other bird licensing

Carrying out any activities affecting wild birds may constitute an offence if it is not authorised by a general licence. If you wish to carry out any such activities, you should apply for a specific licence. Further information is available on our bird licensing web page.

Review of our approach to the shooting and trapping of wild birds

We are reviewing our approach to the permissions we give for the shooting and trapping of wild birds in Wales. This review includes general and specific licences.

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