SNH today announced it will hold a 12 week consultation later this year on General Licences.
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.
Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management at RSPB Scotland, said: “We welcome the news of this consultation. RSPB Scotland accepts that in certain circumstances and as a last resort some birds do need to be killed for specific purposes. However, we have long been concerned that some of the general licences in Scotland are not fit for purpose, and are targeted at species for which there is no evidence that they are having any impact on the conservation status of other species, and are therefore often used merely as cover to increase shootable surpluses of gamebirds. We have previously provided SNH with comprehensive evidence that the licences have been misused or deliberately abused. This is a welcome consultation and we hope that SNH take this opportunity to listen to all stakeholders and produce a system of licensing that permits legitimate “pest control” based solely on robust evidence, where use of the licences is documented and centrally recorded and where the terms and conditions are enforceable.”