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Defra have informed the NGO that for 2024/2025, the new General Licences 40-42 will replicate those currently in place

The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and other relevant stakeholders have been contacted by Defra regarding the new general licences for wild bird control (GL40-42). The department have informed us that the new licences will replicate the conditions of the current GL40-42. This is something that we and our partners at Aim to Sustain have been campaigning for.

The new licences will come into force on 1 January 2024 and will be valid for two years from that date.

Defra has made it clear however that, although these licences are designed to last for two years, they will continue to assess any new and emerging evidence concerning risks associated with the control of wild birds authorised by GL40-42. If any evidence emerges which necessitates changes to any of the conditions in the licence instruments, they will make these changes.

Defra have stated that they will “endeavour to ensure licence users have enough time to adjust to any operational changes that may be required”. If this does occur, the NGO will do all we can to ensure that Defra stick to this statement and that sufficient time is allowed to adjust.
John Clarke, Conservation and Policy Director at the NGO, said:

"Through regular engagement with Government Ministers, Defra and Natural England regarding the use of general licences, we have been regularly highlighting the problems faced by gamekeepers, land managers and pest controllers when it comes to protecting game and other sensitive species from predation, and preventing damage to crops and the spread of disease.

"Defra's confirmation that there will be no changes to the General Licences when they are re-issued on  1 January 2024 is a positive result. It highlights the need to engage and to demonstrate to politicians and policy makers why the activities that are carried out under the general licences are so important."

For more information on all of the General Licences, visit the Defra page by clicking here

Notes to Editors:

The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation: The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) represents the gamekeepers of England and Wales. The NGO defends and promotes gamekeeping and gamekeepers and works to ensure high standards throughout the profession. The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation was founded in 1997 by a group of gamekeepers who felt that keepering was threatened by public misunderstanding and poor representation. Today, there are 13,000 members of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation.  www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk

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