crow shooting

In a shock move on Tuesday 23 April, Natural England announced that it was revoking general licences from midnight on the 25th of April.


Shooting UK will keep you updated with the latest developments with articles, which are all listed below. All include links to forms and information.


Have your say in new Government survey on general licences

Environment secretary Theresa Villers has launched a 12 week public survey as part of a planned review of general licences to manage wild birds in England. What is the purpose of the general licence review? Defra says the aim of the review: ” … is to ensure the licensing system…

new general licence rules

How to follow the new general licence rules and do things correctly

It’s great news that the general licence debacle is over — for the time being at least. The new general licence rules pretty much take us back to square one. It’s important, however, to read them carefully, understand them and comply with their terms and conditions. It is legal to…

Wild Justice logo

Wild Justice abandons latest campaign on general licences … for now

On 18th July the group Wild Justice announced a new threat against the gameshooting community, saying that gamebird releases ought to be regulated.  The Leigh Day website (lawyers for Wild Justice) advised that Defra had until 31st July 2019 to response to the  Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter sent on behalf of…

Dr Mark Avery of Wild Justice

New attack on shooting community launched by Wild Justice

In the five weeks since Defra announced three new general licences (GL34, GL35 and GL36), the campaign group Wild Justice, which consists of scientists Dr Mark Avery and Dr Ruth Tingay, plus Chris Packham, the TV presenter and naturalist, has been preparing its latest campaign to hold the shooting community…


General licence update

A new set of general licences has been issued by DEFRA, following the outcry over their revocation by Natural England after pressure from campaign group Wild Justice. The new licences have been welcomed by shooting and countryside organisations but problems remain over shooting on protected sites. The move marks a…

crows in field with lamb

What you need to know about general licences right now

Defra has issued new general licences that look workable, following weeks of uproar. Here’s what you need to know. The three new licences do not need to be applied for because they are ‘general’. GL34: Licence to Kill or Take for Conservation Purposes For control of carrion crow, jackdaw, jay,…

Dr Mark Avery

Exclusive – Sporting Gun asks Dr Mark Avery the questions we want answered

Seven weeks after Natural England revoked the general licences GL04, GL05 and GL06 on April 25, following a legal challenge from Wild Justice, the wildlife campaign group has submitted a further challenge. This latest legal challenge has arrived while the shooting and farming world is still waiting for Defra and…

Dr Mark Avery of Wild Justice

Sporting Gun talks to Dr Mark Avery of Wild Justice about general licences

Sporting Gun: What provoked you to initiate your legal challenge to Natural England (NE) about the general licences when you did? Wild Justice: NE issued the licences on 1 January each year and to seek a judicial review one has to go through various steps inside three months – so…

Michael Gove

This photograph of Michael Gove with Chris Packham surprised us

< My meeting with @michaelgove this morning started well – two Red Kites soaring from his office window , as did our cordial discussions about @ExtinctionR @WildJustice_org , the Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife and the need for more regulation in environmental care . — Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) May 1,…


General licences latest update – what happens now?

The revocation of the general licences from midnight on the 25th of April means that in most situations it will be a criminal offence to kill any wild bird in England unless you hold a personal licence issued by Natural England. This includes crows, magpies, jays, gulls, parakeets, Canada geese…

General Licence Natural England

The latest reactions to withdrawal of the general licences

Farmers, gamekeepers and recreational shooters have reacted with a mixture of anger and confusion to the decision by Natural England to withdraw the general licences for England with just two days notice at the height of the lambing and nesting seasons. The decision follows a legal challenge by the campaign…

Do I need a general licence or a game licence?

Game licences and game dealers licences were abolished in Scotland with effect from 7 April 2011 when the new Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill was passed

General Licences

Who write General Licences? Those with a fondness for bureaucratic language says Mike Swan

Do I have to apply for my general licence?

At the risk of sounding totally stupid could you please explain to this newbie to shooting exactly what a general licence is? Is it something you have to apply for?