Defra and Natural England have today (Friday 14 June) issued three new interim general licences to kill or take certain species of wild birds and released  a paper updating the position statement issued by Natural England in April 2019.

The issue of the three new general licences follows the previous revocation of three general licences on Thursday 25 April 2019, following a legal challenge by Wild Justice. 

The Secretary of State subsequently took over responsibility from Natural England for decision making powers for the purposes covered by the three revoked general licences.  Defra then initiated a formal consultation into the impact of the revocation and the call for evidence closed on 13 May, with over 4,000 responses. 

Following consideration of the evidence submitted, three new general licences for the killing or taking of wild birds in England were issued at 00:01 on Friday 14 June.

The general licences are valid until 29 February 2020. In the meantime, Defra will lead a review of the longer-term general licensing arrangements.