General licence for birds - GL11/2023 - To sell feathers and parts of certain dead birds which have been captive-bred or legally taken from the UK
General Licences allow authorised people to carry out activities that would otherwise be illegal under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). They cover situations where we are satisfied that there is no other satisfactory solution in respect of the species to which they relate and the circumstances in which the licensed action may be taken.
Terms and conditions
If you operate under General Licence 11/2023 you must meet the following terms and conditions otherwise your actions may be illegal which could lead to prosecution.
What can this General Licence be used for?
Authorised people (operators) can;
a) sell, hire, barter or exchange
b) offer or exposure for sale, hire, barter or exchange
c) possess or transport for the purpose of sale, hire, barter or exchange
d) publish, or cause to be published, any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying the intention to buy, sell, hire, barter or exchange, feathers, feathered wings or pieces of feathered skin or anything manufactured or derived from such items of dead wild birds of the following species:
Who is authorised to use this General Licence?
An operator can be anyone.
What other information must operators know before considering use of this General Licence?
- understand this General Licence and comply with its terms and conditions
- only use it for the purpose specified above
When and where is this General Licence valid?
Across Scotland from 1 January to 31 December 2023 unless previously revoked.
What restrictions apply to the use of this General Licence?
This General Licence cannot be used by those convicted of a wildlife crime until that conviction is considered spent in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended), they have received an admonishment or a court discharged them absolutely.
Any person not able to use this General Licence can still apply to NatureScot for an individual licence.
What are the general conditions of this General Licence?
This General Licence only applies to the sale of a small number of dead birds that were:
a) bred in captivity. A bird shall not be treated as being bred in captivity unless its parents were lawfully in captivity when the egg from which it hatched was laid. Documentary evidence of captive breeding must accompany any sale, or
b) removed from the natural state within the United Kingdom under legal provisions in force in the United Kingdom. Documentary evidence that the bird was lawfully removed from the natural state must accompany the sale.
What are the reporting requirements of this General Licence?
- Any person who sells a part or product of a dead bird under this General Licence must keep a record for a minimum of two years of all sales. The record shall contain details of:
a) the person(s) from whom the seller acquired the bird part or product and the person(s) to whom the part or product was sold;
b) the species of bird, the cause of death (if known), the age of the specimen (if the specimen is over 30 years old this should be noted) and the date of acquisition.
- The seller must certify the record as accurate.
- The seller must, on being given reasonable notice in writing by NatureScot, produce the record to a person authorised in writing by NatureScot and the seller must also permit such authorised person to inspect the record.
- The seller must submit to NatureScot by 31 January 2024 a report giving details of any sale by him in that year of any part or product of such a dead bird which in either case has not previously been sold. The report shall also:
a) state how the seller acquired each part or product of such a bird, and
b) list the type and number of each species sold.
General Licence 12/2023 allows the sale of certain dead birds.
For the purposes of this General Licence;
- “NatureScot” means Scottish Natural Heritage acting under its operating name NatureScot.
- "wild bird" means any bird of a species which is ordinarily resident in or is a visitor to the UK or any member State or the European territory of any member State in a wild state but does not include poultry. "Bird" includes all stages from chick to adult.
- “wildlife crime” means any offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948, the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, the Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912, the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 and the Animals & Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020 (all as amended).
If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.
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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