General licences and BTO

Andy Clements, BTO Chief Executive, sets out BTO’s position regarding the current debate about wildlife licensing

In the UK, certain wild bird species can be lethally controlled (killed) when the conditions of a licence from Natural England have been met. General Licences – the subject of current public debate – are licences for people to use without applying for a licence to undertake a particular activity. The principles embedded in the legislation to protect wild birds are that lethal control is used only as a last resort and in circumstances where the target birds can have a significant negative impact, for example on health and safety (birds and aircraft), livelihoods (Woodpigeons and food crops) or on the conservation of other wildlife.

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