Read our guide to birds that can be controlled in England via the various general licences.

The changes to general licences in the last year resulted in a lot of confusion. To make matters simpler, we thought we would provide a visual reference to bird species on general licences in England that can be culled. Remember that the law is different in Wales.

Mike Swan, Head of Education at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) says: “ This is a very helpful guide to the bird species that we are allowed to control under the new general licences for England, and the reasons for control that we can invoke.”

Jay

Jay on bird table

Jay

Jays can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)

Carrion crow

Carrion crow, Corvus corone

Carrion crow, Corvus corone

Carrion crows can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL26 (to prevent serious damage to livestock including poultry and reared gamebirds)
  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL35 (to preserve public health or public safety)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Jackdaw

Jackdaw

Jackdaw

Jackdaws can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL35 (to preserve public health or public safety)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Magpie

magpie

Magpie

Magpies can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL35 (to preserve public health or public safety)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Rook

Rook

Rook

Rooks can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL35 (to preserve public health or public safety)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Canada goose

Canada goose

Canada Goose

Canada geese can be shot under the following licences.

Egyptian goose

Egyptian goose

Egyptian goose

Egyptian geese can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Monk parakeet

Monk Parakeet

Monk parakeet

Monk parakeets can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL35 (to preserve public health or public safety)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Ring-necked parakeet

Ring-necked parakeet

Ring-necked parakeet

The ring-necked parakeet  can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Sacred Ibis

Sacred Ibis

Sacred Ibis

The sacred ibis  can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)

 

Indian house-crow

Indian house crow

Indian house crow

The Indian house crow can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL34 (conserving wild birds, conserving flora and fauna)

Feral pigeon

Feral Pigeon

Feral Pigeon

The feral pigeon  can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL35 (to preserve public health or public safety)
  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

Wood pigeon

Wood Pigeon

Wood pigeon

The wood pigeon  can be shot under the following licences.

  • GL36 (preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters)

What are the different general licences in England?

GL26 general licence

The GL26  general licence is valid in all counties of England and allows farmers and other keepers of vulnerable livestock  and by people acting on their behalf to kill or take carrion crows to prevent serious damage to livestock including poultry and reared gamebirds or destroy their nests or to take or destroy their eggs. Users do not need to register to use the licence. Conditions apply. For more information on the GL26  visit the Government website here.

GL34 general licence

The GL34 general licence is valid in all counties of England and allows landowners, occupiers and other authorised persons to kill the listed birds in a quick and humane manner in order to conserve wild birds, flora and fauna and to take, damage or destroy their nests or to take or destroy their eggs. Users do not need to register to use the licence. Conditions apply. For more information on the GL34, visit the Government website here. 

GL35 general licence

The GL35 general licence is valid in all counties of England and allows landowners, occupiers and other authorised persons to kill the listed birds in a quick and humane manner in order to preserve public health or public safety and to take, damage or destroy their nests or to take or destroy their eggs. Users do not need to register to use the licence. Conditions apply. For more information on the GL35, visit the Government website here. 

GL36 general licence

The GL36 general licence is valid in all counties of England and allows landowners, occupiers and other authorised persons to kill the listed birds in a quick and humane manner in order to prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters and to take, damage or destroy their nests or to take or destroy their eggs. Users do not need to register to use the licence. Conditions apply.

For more information on the GL36, visit the Government website here.

Where can I find further Government information on bird licences?

The information above was correct on the date published but a further check on the Government website here is advisable.