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Licensing news - see what is happening in licensing this month!

Bird licences - general licences

General licences permit 'authorised persons' to carry out actions that would otherwise be illegal. They cover certain types of activity relating to birds, such as preserving public health or air safety, and preventing the spread of disease. General licences cover situations that are regarded as relatively commonplace and where there is unlikely to be any great conservation impact.

General licences avoid the need for people to apply for individual licences for these specific circumstances.  General licences are still subject to strict conditions, and abuse of them or failure to comply with the conditions could constitute an offence.

Restrictions on the use of General Licences

Scottish Natural Heritage are able to prohibit the use of General Licences 1-3 by certain persons and/or on certain areas of land where we have reason to believe that wild birds have been taken or killed by such persons and/or on such land other than in accordance with this General licence.

Our framework for implementing restrictions  PDF document details how we will consider evidence and put restrictions in place. Current restrictions are listed below.

            (Restriction temporarily suspended until 20 May 2016*)

* Restriction temporarily suspended by the Courts following a petition to commence a Judicial Review of this decision.

General licences for 2016

Below are our general licences for 2016.  There are no substantive changes from the 2015 general licences.  However, we are proposing extensive discussion and consultation on general licences during 2016 to inform the development of those for 2017 and beyond.  This discussion will follow the publication of the SNH-funded research on trapping under general licences (scheduled for March/April 2016) and other research including the Understanding Predation external site project which is expected to report in early 2016. 

General licences valid between 1 January and 31 December 2016

General Licence 01/2016: To kill or take certain birds for the conservation of wild birds  PDF document  

General Licence 02/2016: To kill or take certain birds for the prevention of serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit  PDF document

General Licence 03/2016: To kill or take certain birds for the preservation of public health, public safety and preventing the spread of disease  PDF document  

General Licence 04/2016: To kill or take certain birds to protect air safety  PDF document

General Licence 05/2016: To capture red grouse to administer medication  PDF document

General Licence 06/2016: To keep disabled, wild-bred Schedule 4 birds for rehabilitation  PDF document

General Licence 07/2016: To keep disabled, wild-bred Schedule 4 birds for veterinary treatment  PDF document

General Licence 08/2016: To rear chicks from captive-bred Schedule 4 birds  PDF document

General Licence 09/2016: To permit the competitive showing of certain captive-bred live birds  PDF document

General Licence 10/2016: To keep certain captive-bred live birds in show cages for training purposes  PDF document

General Licence 11/2016: To sell certain live captive-bred species of wild bird  PDF document

General Licence 12/2016: To sell feathers and parts of certain dead birds which have been captive-bred or legally taken from the UK  PDF document

General Licence 13/2016: To sell certain dead birds which have been captive-bred or legally taken from the European Union  PDF document

General Licence 14/2016: To take unsuccessful eggs laid by wild birds from nest boxes  PDF document

General licences valid between 1 January and 31 December 2015

General Licence 01/2015: To kill or take certain birds for the conservation of wild birds  PDF document (Restriction temporarily suspended until 20 May 2016*)

General Licence 02/2015: To kill or take certain birds for the prevention of serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit  PDF document

General Licence 03/2015: To kill or take certain birds for the preservation of public health, public safety and preventing the spread of disease  PDF document

General Licence 04/2015: To kill or take certain birds to protect air safety  PDF document

General Licence 05/2015: To capture red grouse to administer medication  PDF document

General Licence 06/2015: To keep disabled, wild-bred Schedule 4 birds for rehabilitation  PDF document

General Licence 07/2015: To keep disabled, wild-bred Schedule 4 birds for veterinary treatment  PDF document  

General Licence 08/2015: To rear chicks from captive-bred Schedule 4 birds  PDF document

General Licence 09/2015: To permit the competitive showing of certain captive-bred live birds  PDF document

General Licence 10/2015: To keep certain captive-bred live birds in show cages for training purposes  PDF document

General Licence 11/2015: To sell certain captive-bred species of wild bird  PDF document

General Licence 12/2015: To sell feather and parts of certain dead birds which have been captive-bred or legally taken from the UK  PDF document

General Licence 13/2015: To sell certain dead birds which have been captive-bred or legally taken from the European Union  PDF document

General Licence 14/2015: To take unsuccessful eggs laid by wild birds from nest boxes  PDF document

*Restriction temporarily suspended by the Courts following a petition to commence Judicial Review of this decision.

General licence returns

Some general licences have a condition that states you must submit a licence return to us. Please send completed licence returns to licensing@snh.gov.uk in an appropriate format (table, spreadsheet, etc.) ensuring:

  • you include all the information required by the particular general licence you've operated under, and
  • always put 'General licence return' and the location details (e.g. airport) in the subject line of your email.

Orkney Greylag Goose Adaptive Management Pilot Project

As part of the Orkney Adaptive Management pilot project we are trialling the licensing of limited and controlled sale of goose carcasses and meat arising from the pilot. This includes licensing individual participants of the pilot and butchers to sell meat as well as a general licence for caterers in Orkney to be able to sell goose meat to customers. 

GL 15/2015 - General licence for caterers in Orkney to sell goose meat from the Orkney Adaptive Management Pilot.  PDF document

General licence for caterers in Orkney to sell goose meat from the Orkney Adaptive Management Pilot  PDF document

Submitting returns

Uist Greylag Goose Adaptive Management Pilot Project

The Uist Adaptive Management pilot project is trialling the licensing of limited and controlled sale of goose carcasses and meat. Below is a link to a general licence permitting caterers in Uist and Barra to sell goose meat to customers.

GL 17/2015 - General licence for caterers in Uist and Barra to sell goose meat from the Uist Adaptive Management Pilot.  PDF document

General licence for caterers in Uist and Barra to sell goose meat from the Uist Adaptive Management Pilot.  PDF document

Lewis and Harris Greylag Goose Adaptive Management Pilot Project

The Lewis and Harris Adaptive Management Pilot Project is trialling the licensing of limited and controlled sale of goose carcasses and meat.  Below is a link to a general licence permitting caterers in Lewis and Harris to sell goose meat to customers.

GL 16/2015 - General licence for caterers in Lewis and Harris to sell goose meat from the Lewis and Harris Adaptive Management Pilot.  PDF document

General licence for caterers in Lewis and Harris to sell goose meat from the Lewis and Harris Adaptive Management Pilot  PDF document .