Birds: licences for public health and safety

People and wildlife usually coexist happily but sometimes the presence of nesting birds close to people can result in problems.

Where wild birds pose a threat to public health or safety, we may issue a licence to permit certain actions that might otherwise constitute an offence in relation to wild birds. There must be no satisfactory alternative.

This may include situations where problems arise as a result of some bird species using houses and other buildings as nest sites.

Read our information note to find out:

  • what constitutes a public health and safety issue
  • how to apply for a licence
  • the definition of a satisfactory alternative

Public health and safety: Issues with nesting birds

Download the Licence application form – to take or kill wild birds, their nests or eggs

For some situations where birds pose a threat to public health and safety, you may instead use one of our general licences. These cover relatively commonplace and low-risk situations, and you don’t need to apply to use them.

Gull management plan

If gulls are causing, or expected to cause, a public health and safety risk, you should address the issue as soon as possible. Failure to do so increases the risk and makes a long-term solution to the problem less likely.

You should first draw up a gull management plan to help coordinate the actions you must take to resolve the public health and safety issues caused by gulls.

Read the Gull Management Plans: Planning and implementing a strategy to help tackle gull problems

You can also consider using General Licence 03/2017. If this doesn’t cover the relevant gull species, you can apply for a licence using the form below.


Air safety

Birds may pose a risk to air safety. General Licence 04/2017 permits actions against certain species to protect air safety.

For bird species not listed on the general licence, you can apply for a licence using the form below.

Download the Licence application form – take or kill birds to preserve air safety

Licence changes and renewals

You should get in touch if you wish to amend a licence. But check your licence conditions first: you may be able to appoint agents and assistants without having to get them named on your licence.

Find out about adding persons to a licence.

You must also remember to contact us to renew your licence. Licences aren’t renewed automatically.


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team
Telephone: 01463 725 364

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