General Licences for Bird Control

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has offered his support to farmers who are calling on Natural England to overturn their decision to revoke general licence. These licences allow farmers and growers to control certain wild birds to protect livestock and crops. The decision by Natural England to revoke the licences came last week after legal proceedings were issued by campaign group Wild Justice.

A number of farmers from North East Bedfordshire have been in touch with Mr Burt this week to express their concern about this decision and the potential risks to their crops and livestock if they cannot protect them. Mr Burt has received assurances from Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that contingency plans are in place, and their guidance is attached below on what steps farmers can take following the change to these licensing procedures.

Mr Burt said: “There are many farmers and growers in my constituency and I am very sympathetic to their concerns regarding these licenses. Farmers must be able to protect their crops from the considerable damage that these small group of birds can do. There is also concern for nesting birds at this time of year, who will become susceptible to the attacks of growing numbers of avian predators.

I have received guidance documents from both Natural England and DEFRA and have attached these below for those who require practical advice for dealing with the consequences of these decisions.”


Attachment Size
DEFRA Guidance 124.82 KB
Natural England Guidance 70.84 KB