Bird management articles & pest control news

19 January 2021

Welsh general licences for bird control 'lawful'

A High Court ruling has deemed the Welsh general licences for the control of wild birds to be lawful, following a challenge by campaign group Wild Justice

The legal challenge related to general licences GL001, GL002 and GL004 to kill wild birds issued by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on 1 January 2020.


Several successful legal bids to change the general licences across the UK began around February 2019, and as a result changes have been made to the licensing systems in each nation.

In Wales, four general licences were revoked on 7 October 2019 following a judicial review and new versions were issued (GL001, GL002, GL004 and GL016) which were valid until 31 December 2020.

These have been replaced again with new versions issued in 2021, with no current proposed changes expected. Find out more about licensing for bird control in Wales on the NRW website

BPCA Chief Executive, Ian Andrew, commented:

“We're very pleased with the recent ruling and are optimistic that NRW will now be able to focus on providing a workable and lawful licensing system. 

"It's critical for public health and safety that our members can continue to carry out important bird control work across Wales, uninterrupted by more legal challenges."

Further reading:

Changes to bird control licences in Wales:

Wild Justice hearing given go-ahead over Welsh general licences:

Natural Resources Wales General Licences:

A birds-eye view of general licences:

Licences for pest bird control: where are we now?

Wild Justice: Our latest legal challenge:

Wild Justice: Further success on general licences:

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