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21 May, 2019

SNH to launch General Licence consultation

A 12-week consultation about General Licences will take place later this year, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) announced today.


A General Licence is a type of species licence that allows users to control wild birds or destroy their nests, for reasons such as preventing serious damage to crops, protecting public health, and guarding air safety when flocks of birds are liable to get in flight paths.

Robbie Kernahan, SNH’s Head of National Operations, said:

“We want to ensure that General Licences in Scotland are clear, proportionate and fit-for-purpose.

“In light of the complicated situation in England with General Licences right now, we have decided to bring forward our consultation which had been scheduled for 2020.

“Our 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. As with any licence, we need to ensure that General Licences strike the appropriate balance between species conservation and a range of other legitimate interests.

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

The consultation will ask stakeholders for their views about how General Licences work in practice, what they should cover, and how they are worded.

ENDS

MEDIA QUERIES

Contact the SNH main press office on 0131 316 2655 or snhmedia@nature.scot

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SNH Media
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Notes to editors

General Licences do not require operators to contact SNH before using them and most do not 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

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