Defra announced five-month temporary extension to General Licences

Defra has announced that six general licences for the control of wild birds will be reissued on a temporary basis ahead of new licences coming into force on 1st August 2020.
The licences (GL26, GL28, GL31, GL34, GL35 and GL36) will be reissued from 1 March to 31 July.  No action is required by licence users, beyond the ongoing requirement to act in accordance with the licence conditions.

A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said, “We told Defra yet again that it was unacceptable that we were entering the key time for controlling predators of nesting birds and young livestock with the current licences due to run out on 29th February.    It seems that at last they have listened and we welcome this five-month extension

"The re-issued licences will, however, still have the same failings as those they replace, most notably that they do not permit pest bird control in 'European Protected Sites' (SACs, SPAs and RAMSAR sites), or within 300m of them. Defra have advised us that, 'people wishing to act in those areas need to apply for an individual licence from Natural England.'

"We have been promised further meetings with Defra as part of their work towards issuing new General Licences in August. We will continue to point out the need for licences that are practical and fit for purpose and valid throughout England."


Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact: Morag Walker on mobile 07736 124097 or email:

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.


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