Osprey in flight. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

General Licence status in Scotland

24 April 2019

In light of the recent decision by Natural England (NE) to revoke three of their General Licences for controlling certain wild birds, we would like to firstly reassure those who are currently operating under our similar licences that these remain in place in Scotland, allowing those who comply with the conditions to continue to use them.

Our General Licences cover relatively common situations, such as preventing agricultural damage and protecting public health and safety where there’s unlikely to be any conservation impact. They avoid the need for people to apply for individual licences for these specific circumstances.

It’s our role to balance a number of public interests, while making sure Scottish wildlife and nature is protected, and can thrive for future generations.  It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. We continue in our commitment to getting the balance right.

We are aware that this decision by Natural England is linked to a legal challenge; the legal system is slightly different here in Scotland, but we are following this case carefully to see if there are any implications for us.

Taking into account the outcome of the process in England and after consultation with our legal advisors, we will then consider if there may be any changes required to our licences.

As with any review of our licences we would seek to ensure an appropriate period of consultation to gather views on any planned changes, allow sufficient time for any adjustments to take place and for users to be made aware.

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