GWCT research in the uplands and lowlands shows that the control of predatory species such as crows is important for the conservation of gamebirds, wading birds and songbirds.
General Licences authorise the control of certain bird pest species including crows, gulls and pigeons. Reasons specified in a number of different licences include the conservation of wild birds, the protection of livestock and crops, and preventing the spread of disease.
Licensing in this way avoids the administrative and financial costs of individual licensing by covering commonplace situations that are unlikely to have any great conservation impact. However, they only allow these actions within strict conditions, abuse of which would constitute an offence.
General Licences (England) - Your questions answered
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The links below detail the licensing process throughout the devolved administrations of the UK:
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