The Ins And Outs Of The New Shooting Licenses

On 25th April, a new legislation was introduced which revoked specific licenses for shooting certain species of crows, magpies, pigeons and other birds.

With the old licenses now a thing of the past, here’s everything you need to know about the new general licenses and how they work.

What licenses have been revoked?

As of the 25th April, three licenses (GL04, GL05, GL06) have been revoked. These licenses covered the shooting of 16 different species of bird for the purpose of health and safety, disease prevention, and conservation.

What will replace the licenses?

As of the 14th June, three new general licenses have been introduced. The new licenses enable people to control wild birds in order to conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (GL34), preserve public health or public safety (GL35), and to prevent serious damage to crops and livestock (GL36).

What birds are covered by the new licenses?

Here is a full list of the birds that you can control with the new licenses:

GL34 – Conserve wild birds and flora or fauna

  • Egyptian geese
  • Canada geese
  • Indian house crows
  • Jackdaws
  • Magpies
  • Ring-necked parakeets
  • Sacred ibis
  • Jays
  • Monk parakeets
  • Rooks
  • Carrion crows

GL35 – Preserve public health or public safety

  • Feral pigeons
  • Jackdaws
  • Magpies
  • Rooks
  • Canada geese
  • Monk parakeets
  • Carrion crows

GL36 – Prevent serious damage to crops and livestock

  • Carrion crows
  • Woodpigeons
  • Jackdaws
  • Magpies
  • Feral pigeons
  • Rooks
  • Canada geese
  • Monk parakeets
  • Ring-necked parakeets
  • Egyptian geese

Herring gulls aren’t covered by any of the licenses, but you can still obtain a license to destroy their nests or their eggs.

How do I apply for the new license?

The new licenses are based on the specific need of the person applying. For example, a license for public health, the prevention of disease, or to prevent serious damage.

You can apply for the new individual license on the government website. Once you’ve downloaded the relevant form,  you can either print or fill it in on your computer and then send it to Natural England either via post or email.

Given that the old licenses are soon to be ineligible, it’s important that you start the application process for a new license as soon as possible.

Can I still kill birds before my license is approved?

If you’re still waiting for your license to come through you can still legally kill birds. If you do kill birds before your license arrives, you must demonstrate that the killing of the birds was necessary and that the act is covered by the license you’re waiting for.

How will these changes affect my shooting insurance policy?

If you haven’t yet applied for a new license, it’s important that you do so as soon as possible. Without it, killing any of the birds that are covered by the revoked licenses will be classed as a criminal offense. As a result, any insurance claim you make wouldn’t be covered. So make sure that you apply for a new license now and remain fully covered by your shooting insurance.

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