General Licences allow authorised people to carry out activities that would otherwise be illegal under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
Terms and conditions
If you operate under General Licence 14/2021 you must meet the following terms and conditions otherwise your actions may constitute an offence which could lead to prosecution.
What can this General Licence be used for?
Authorised persons (trap operators) can carry out the following activities for the purpose of conserving wild birds and/or prevention of serious damage to livestock:
- to use traps to kill certain wild mammals listed below
Who is an authorised person?
An authorised person is the owner or occupier of the land on which the action will be carried out, or any person nominated by the owner or occupier of that land.
When and where is this General Licence valid?
Across Scotland from 1 January to 31 December 2021
What restrictions apply to the use of this General Licence?
This General Licence cannot be used by those convicted of a wildlife crime on or after 1 January 2016 unless, in respect of that offence, they are a rehabilitated person (for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and that conviction is spent), or a court discharged them absolutely.
Any person not able to use the General Licence can still apply to NatureScot for an individual licence. Email: [email protected]
What other information must authorised persons know before considering use of this General Licence?
Trap operators must:
- understand this General Licence and comply with its terms and conditions
- only use it for the conservation of wild birds or for prevention of damage to livestock
- Comply with the Spring Traps Approval (Scotland) Amendment Order 2018
What are the registration and reporting requirements for this General Licence?
There are no registration nor reporting requirements under this Licence.
What species may be taken or killed under this General Licence?
What methods of taking or killing are permitted under this General Licence?
Kill traps of the following types
- DOC 150
- DOC 200
- DOC 250
- Tully Trap
- Goodnature A24 rat & stoat trap
What general animal welfare requirements are there when using this General Licence?
Operators must comply with the manufacturer’s instructions relevant to the type of trap operated under this Licence.
What other trapping conditions are there?
Anyone wishing to use live traps to control stoats must apply for an individual licence by contacting [email protected]
Trap use conditions
The trap must be set in a natural or artificial tunnel which is suitable for minimising the chances of capturing, killing or injuring non-target species whilst not compromising the killing of stoat. The tunnel may be closed-end or a run-through configuration. In either case, the tunnel must include an internal baffle arrangement as set out in the manufacturer’s instructions for use of DOC traps in the UK, available on the website of Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture The trap must be positioned in relation to the baffle or baffles and to the side of the tunnel so that it conforms to those specifications.
The trap must be set in a natural or artificial tunnel which is suitable for minimising the chances of capturing, killing or injuring non-target species whilst not compromising the killing or taking of stoat.
Goodnature A24 rat & stoat trap
The trap must be (a) set in a natural or artificial tunnel or enclosure which is suitable for minimising the chances of capturing, killing or injuring non-target species whilst not compromising the killing or taking of stoat or (b) set at a minimum height of 30cm off the ground and entered by an artificial tunnel attached to the trap and that protrudes for a distance of no less than 70mm from the trap entrance, which is suitable for minimising the chances of capturing, killing or injuring non-target species whilst not compromising the killing or taking of stoat.
For the purposes of this General Licence;
“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).
“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 egg to adult.
“livestock” means any animal which is kept—
(a) for the provision of food, wool, skins or fur;
(b) for the purpose of its use in the carrying on of any agricultural activity; or
(c) for the provision or improvement of shooting or fishing
“NatureScot” means Scottish Natural Heritage acting under its operating name NatureScot
Acting Head of Wildlife Management
For Scottish Natural Heritage acting under its operating name NatureScot
1 January 2021
Great Glen House
General licence - GL14 2021 - To use certain traps to kill stoats for the conservation of wild birds or for prevention of serious damage to livestock
If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.