A Guide To The New Shooting Licenses For Wales

From October 7th, new general shooting licences will come into effect in Wales. This means the existing laws for trapping and shooting pest birds (GL001, GL002, GL003 and GL004) will no longer be valid from that date.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new licenses and how you can prepare yourself for the law changes.

Why Have These Changes Been Made?

Natural Recourses Wales have decided to make these changes after collecting evidence and legal advice on how the old licenses worked. In light of the advice they were given, they’ve now decided the old licenses are unlawful and need to be replaced.

What Changes Have Been Made To The Licenses?

GL001 – Prevention of serious damage to livestock and crops

  • This license covers the taking and killing of the following birds: Canada goose, wood pigeon, carrion crow, magpie, feral pigeon, and jackdaw. It also covers you for destroying the nests of these birds or destroying their eggs.
  • This license also covers you to use the following birds in cage traps as decoys: magpie, carrion crow and jackdaw.
  • The rook, collared dove and jay are no longer covered by this license.

GL002 – Preservation of public health and prevention of the spread of disease

  • This license covers the taking and killing of feral pigeons only. This includes destroying their nests and eggs.
  • The carrion crow, wood pigeon, magpie, collared dove, jackdaw, rook and jay are no longer covered by this license.

GL003 – Preservation of aviation safety

  • This specific license will no longer be available.
  • Applicants who want a license that covers aviation safety will have to apply for an individual license instead.

GL004 – Conservation of wild birds

  • The license covers the taking and killing of the following birds: carrion crow, magpie, jay, and jackdaw. This license also covers you for destroying their nests and eggs.
  • This license also covers you using the above birds in cage traps as decoys.
  • The control methods covered by this license only apply to the conservation of chicks and eggs of specific birds. The different species of birds are covered in Annex 1 of the new license.
  • The rook, feral pigeon and Canada goose are no longer covered by this license.

Why Are Rooks Now Excluded From The New Licenses?

Rooks have been excluded from the new licenses due to the reported decline in the rook population. The rook population in Wales had fallen by 50% between 2007 and 2017, according to The UK Breeding Bird Survey.

What Happens If I Continue To Use The Old General Licenses?

From October 7th 2019 onwards, you won’t be able to use the old general licenses as a defence for any actions taken. Therefore, it’s vital that you apply for a new license as soon as possible.

How Do These License Changes Affect My Shooting Insurance?

Killing any of the birds listed above without one of the new licenses is a criminal act. As a result, any insurance claim that you make would not be covered. That’s why you need to apply for a new license imminently, so you are still fully covered by your shooting insurance policy.

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