With effect from 2359 hrs 25 April 2019 Natural England have temporarily revoked the three General Licences that authorise the killing of a number of species of birds (see below for a summary of all 3 licences and the list of species).

Hampshire Constabulary advises that with the revocation of the General Licences, it is an offence to kill or take any of the listed species, unless in possession of the relevant individual General Licence.

Any reports of persons shooting or taking any of the listed species in contravention of the terms of the General Licence will be dealt with on a case by case basis, with prosecution being a possible outcome.

At this time, Hampshire Constabulary will not be seeking to partially revoke firearm certificates that are conditioned for the purpose of controlling the species listed below.  However, these species can no longer be regarded as 'other lawful quarry', and they must therefore not be killed or taken unless the holder possesses the relevant individual General Licence.

Natural England are in the process of setting up a fast track application system, and firearm and shotgun certificate holders who require an individual licence are directed to that agency’s website (see below).

The specific licences are:

  • General licence GL04: To kill or take certain species of wild birds to prevent serious damage or disease
  • General licence GL05: To kill or take certain species of wild birds to preserve public health or public safety
  • General licence GL06: To kill or take certain species of wild birds to conserve wild birds or flora or fauna

With an individual General Licence a person can catch alive or kill, as well as take, damage or destroy the nests, or take or destroy the eggs of the following species:

  • crows
  • collared doves
  • jackdaws
  • jays
  • lesser black-backed gulls
  • magpies
  • pigeons (feral and woodpigeon)
  • rooks
  • Canada geese
  • Egyptian geese
  • monk parakeets
  • ring-necked parakeets


Links to further information