New General Licence WML-GL35 issued today

3 new General Licences were issued today relating to bird control. The most relevant for our customer base will be WML-GL35 – To kill or take certain species of wild birds to preserve public health or public safety.

GL35 is a 13 page document which can be downloaded via the attachment below. A summary of some the key points are as follows:

  • Issued to preserve public health or public safety
  • permits authorised persons to ‘kill or take; and to take, damage or destroy the nests, or take or destroy the eggs of the following species:-
  • Feral Pigeon (Columba livia); Magpie (Pica pica); Carrion Crow (Corvus corone); Jackdaw (Corvus monedula); Rook (Corvus frugilegus).
  • Licence Conditions – There are a number of conditions applicable to the use of this licence and I would like to highlight Licence Condition 1:-
  • “before [and when] using this licence, reasonable endeavours must have been made to achieve the purpose in question using lawful methods not covered by this licence (unless their use would be impractical, without effect or disproportionate in the circumstances).”

These new General Licences do not remove the need for everyone to carry out preventative measures. Good hygiene and proofing practices are still a base condition of the licences. Even if inside a building, non lethal methods of removal must be attempted. Where lawful methods could be deemed ‘disproportionate in the circumstances’, resulting in the use of GL35, then it is expected that an investigation takes place to establish how the bird(s) gained access and what can be done to prevent future problems. It is strongly recommended that our customers record each incident that involves the use of the licence, including other lawful methods which have been used to resolve the problem.

What does this all mean?

Users do not need to apply for, or register to use these licences. For most of our customers, the main species covered within this licence is the Feral Pigeon (Columba livia). Most other bird species will require a separate, individual licence application. Our staff can carry out lethal methods to remove feral pigeons to preserve public health of public safety within the conditions of the licence.

When GL05 was revoked at very short notice there was a lot of uncertainty, confusion and trouble for a number of our customers. The legal challenge to the old General Licences, highlights the importance of following the conditions under which these new licences are issued.

If you have any questions regarding the new licences then please call 01189323755 or email