General licences for birds - restrictions

Restrictions on use of general licences for birds

General licences cover relatively common situations where there’s unlikely to be any significant conservation impact. They avoid the need for people to apply for individual licences for these specific circumstances.

You don’t need to apply to use a general licence. But you must be sure that the licence is appropriate and that you meet the licence conditions in full. Abuse of, or failure to comply with, the conditions could constitute an offence.

General licences cover certain types of activity relating to birds, for example:

  • preserving public health
  • protecting air safety
  • preventing the spread of disease

Scottish Natural Heritage can prohibit the use of General Licences 01, 02 and 03 by certain persons and/or on certain areas of land, where we have reason to believe that wild birds have been taken or killed by such persons and/or on such land other than in accordance with the general licence.

Our framework for implementing restrictions details how we will consider evidence and put restrictions in place.


Scottish Natural Heritage have suspended the General Licence restriction 01/2019 for Leadhills due to an on-going appeal.

Current restrictions in place are:

  • General Licence restriction 01/2017
  • General Licence restriction 02/2017 was issued to an individual for 3 years from 15 September 2017 which prohibits them from using General Licences during that period.

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Licensing Team

01463 725364

[email protected]