BPCA news archive

16 December 2019

Scotland: General Licences for bird control update

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have issued an update on the general licensing system in Scotland for 2020, following a period of consultation. 

 Scottish general licences for bird control update

Over 700 responses to the consultation were received, with people sharing their views on the importance of general licenses and how they are currently working.

The purpose of the consultation was to:

  1. Help inform the evidence base and rationale for inclusion of certain species currently listed on GLs in Scotland
  2. Help inform whether there are other satisfactory solutions available without recourse to management under licence.

Robbie Kernahan, Head of Wildlife Management at SNH, said: 

"We have been working hard to analyse the consultation responses, supplemented by additional intelligence gathered from a series of bilateral meetings we held with some of you during the consultation period.

"It is clear that GLs remain an important and useful mechanism to help regulate wildlife to manage conflicts with key areas of public interest.

"In order for us to provide a licensing service which is enabling, proportionate and legally compliant, the challenge remains to balance species conservation with the wide range of other legitimate activities, interests and concerns from land management to public health and safety."

As a result, SNH are proposing to make some changes to the species listings for most of 2020, along with a number of additional modifications.

The nature of these changes means they won’t come into effect until the Wednesday 1 April 2020, giving people time to prepare.

The existing general licenses will be extended in their current format until Tuesday 31 March, with new draft licences available to view prior to the changeover date.

General Licences for Wednesday 1 January to Tuesday 31 March 2020 will be published on the SNH website by Friday 20 December.

In the meantime, if you have any queries please get in touch with the SNH Licensing Team.

Source: SNH press release