General bird kill licensing consultation planned for Scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage has announced it will launch a consultation on the general bird kill licensing system in Scotland earlier than planned, in a bid to avoid legal action and the ensuing controversy currently being experienced by Natural England.

General licences are a type of species licence that in Scotland allows users to control wild birds or destroy their nests to prevent serious damage to crops, to protect public health, and to ensure safety around airports.

In England, the regulator withdrew its licences under threat of judicial review, a move which upset landowners and led to environment secretary Michael Gove taking the issue out of Natural England’s hands. Gove is due to make a decision on the future of the licences shortly.

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