General licences for birds 2024

All species of wild birds in Wales are protected.

We issue general licences which authorise 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 particular purposes and apply to certain species.

We undertook a review of our general licences for wild bird control (GL001, GL002, GL004 and GL005) in 2023. We shared the review document with stakeholder organisations and requested their feedback on our proposals. We considered the feedback received in coming to our decisions on general licences for 2024, which are published in our decision document. Our GL001, GL002, GL004 and GL005 for 2024 take account of these decisions.

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

Our general licences are produced in HTML. Should you wish to save or print a copy, click “Print this page” and then select “Save as pdf” from the Printer drop down menu. From there you can save the pdf document to your preferred location and print a hard copy if desired.

General licences for 2024

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.

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.

Contact us

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

Last updated