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10 October, 2019

Over 700 responses to SNH General Licence consultation

The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) consultation about wild birds ended yesterday, garnering over 700 responses.

SNH will now consider this feedback, along with all other evidence about wild birds. Any changes to the current set of licences will be announced later this year. These changes would apply to all 2020 licences.

The consultation covers circumstances when wild birds can be controlled under General Licence. All wild birds are protected by law. But in some circumstances, SNH allows wild birds to be controlled – for example, to prevent serious damage to crops, protect public health, and ensure air safety when flocks of birds are liable to get in flight paths. 

Robbie Kernahan, SNH’s Head of Wildlife Management, said:

“We’d like to thank everyone for their feedback. We’ll be looking at all these responses carefully over the next few weeks to ensure that our licences for next year are clear, proportionate and fit-for-purpose.

“Our role is to make sure that wild birds thrive, but we must balance this with making sure the public is safe from health and safety risks, as well as ensuring that farmers can protect their crops.”

General Licences cover relatively common situations – such as preventing agricultural damage and protecting public health and safety – when there’s unlikely to be any conservation impact on a species. They avoid the need for people to apply for individual licences for these specific situations. General Licences must strike the appropriate balance between species conservation and a range of other legitimate interests.

Robbie added:

“We would like to reassure those who are currently operating under the current 2019 General Licences in Scotland that these remain in place, allowing those who comply with the conditions to continue to use them.”

ENDS

Contact information

Name
SNH Media
Email
SNHMEDIA@nature.scot

Notes to editors

General Licences don’t require operators to contact SNH before using them and most don’t require return information to be submitted on their use. They represent a streamlined approach to licensing for relatively common situations where the conservation risk to target birds is low. There are conditions attached to General Licences and failure to comply with their terms and conditions can result in an offence.

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. So that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot

'S e Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Tha sinn ag obair airson ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra ann an Alba a thoirt am feabhas agus a h-uile duine a bhrosnachadh gus barrachd cùraim a ghabhail dhi. Gus am bi an nàdar air fad ann an Alba – ar prìomh àrainnean is chruthan-tìre, ar n-àiteachan uaine gu lèir is ar gnèithean dùthchasach - air an gleidheadh, air an leasachadh 's a' toirt bhuannachdan dhuinn. 'S e an dleastanas a th' oirnn uile co-chothrom ann an stiùireadh faiceallach ar saoghail nàdarra a ruighinn airson bith-iomadachd a ghleidheadh 's a leasachadh. Airson an tuilleadh fios, tadhail air an làraich-lìn againn aig www.nature.scot/gaelic no lean air Twitter sinn aig https://twitter.com/nature_scot

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Lesser black-backed gull-copyright Lorne Gill-SNH

Lesser black-backed gull-copyright Lorne Gill-SNH

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