What are the main changes to the General Licences in 2020?
The main changes are:
- Species - there are 15 changes to the species which are included on certain licences. These are summarised in Annex 1 in the table attached document below.
- Trap Registration - individual users are required to register their use of live cage traps to take birds through NatureScot. This will help us understand how General Licences are being used.
- Designated Sites - the use of General Licences over a number of designated sites in Scotland will be subject to additional specific conditions.
- Traps for Stoats – it is no longer legal to use a Fenn or such like traps for stoats. There is a General Licence for use of approved traps to control stoats to prevent damage to livestock and the conservation of wild birds.
We have also made some changes to the way birds can be controlled around airports, seeking to streamline the process and tailor licences to the individual needs of each airfield.
Why were these changes made?
These changes were made because we want to ensure our licences are based on the best available information. Species populations change as do their impacts and while some birds are doing really well, others have become a conservation concern. It is important that our licences are adaptive and based on up to date information.
When will the changes take place?
The changes to our licences came into force on the 1st of April 2020.
For those species that are no longer listed on General Licences will I still be able to control them?
Each case will be considered on merit. You will need to apply for a specific licence to do so. Advice and application forms are available on our website.
Using General Licences on designated sites
We take our responsibilities to protect designated sites seriously; the legislation governing these sites means we are required to take a precautionary approach. We have produced a revised list of designated sites where additional conditions are in place from 1st April 2020.
In addition where there are sensitive habitats and species on a site we have created a set of standing conditions for these sites. These standing conditions will ensure no disturbance of the species present and no damage to the habitats found on these sites.
You must understand and comply with the standing conditions.
If you can meet the standing conditions set out in the document then you can proceed with you activities; you will not need to contact us.
As of 1st April 2020 trap operators will need to be registered with us in order to use:
- Larsen traps
- Larsen mate traps
- Larsen pod traps
- Multi-catch cage crow traps
You’ll need to register with us even if you have previously registered with Police Scotland. Registrations are now issued to people rather than properties.
How do I register?
Trap registration should only take 5 minutes and you won’t need any special information other than your own contact details.
Why do I need to register to use traps as an individual rather than on behalf of a landholding?
Having individuals register to use traps means that there will no longer be any question as to who is responsible for an individual trap. This will ensure that as a regulator we have direct contact with those operating under our licences which will lead to clearer understanding of user responsibilities and better accountability.
How long will trap registration last?
Trap registration will last for a period of 5 years.
When will my Police Scotland trap number no longer be valid?
Police Scotland numbers will no longer be valid after 1st April 2021 but we urge you to get registered with NatureScot as soon as you can.
Control of birds at airports & aerodromes
As of 1st April 2020 there will no longer be a General Licence covering bird control at airports. We have been in contact with many airport operators to facilitate an individual licence which meets individual needs. If you haven’t already heard from us regarding this you should contact [email protected] or on 01463 725364.
Sale of goose meat
We have permission from the EC to allow the sale of greylag goose meat from certain areas until 31st Dec 2020.
Use of traps for stoats
We have published a functional General Licence to allow those trapping stoats for prevention of damage to livestock or for the conservation of wild birds to meet the requirement set out by the agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) and the Spring Traps Approval (Scotland) Amendment Order 2018.
This page contains a table that is not fully accessible.
Disclaimer: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has changed its name to NatureScot as of the 24th August 2020.
At the time of publishing, this document may still refer to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and include the original branding. It may also contain broken links to the old domain.
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