Updated: NFU activity on NE decision to revoke general licences

Lamb and ewe, Northumberland

Recognising the importance of general licences that allow farmers and growers to control certain wild birds to protect livestock and crops, here is a round up of the NFU's work on this issue when Natural England revoked three general licences for controlling certain wild birds as of Thursday 25 April 2019.

  • Detailed member briefings were developed and NFU colleagues acted quickly to update them following further announcements by Natural England.
  • Guidance and advice to members was publicised through social media, email updates and NFUonline.
  • NFU legal, policy and communications teams were in frequent dialogue with Natural England counterparts to:
    • Urge NE to issue new general licences as quickly as possible and to prioritise those of importance to NFU members, in particular to protect livestock and crops from serious damage. This was achieved by the issuing of the general licence to control crows for the protection of livestock (earlier than indicated by NE).
    • Highlight concerns about the individual licensing regime implemented, including IT issues and licence conditions.
    • Provide detailed feedback from our members on the application process.
    • Press for swift determination of individual licences.
    • Raise concerns about the limitations of the new general licence to control crows.
    • Urge NE to issue further licences which are focused on the protection to be achieved rather than species specific.

The NFU has written to Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove, along with other rural and farming organisations, highlighting concerns around the removal of general licences.

NFU members: Click here to read the letter in full - you will be asked to log in.

How to log in: Use your membership number or the email address associated with your membership to log in. If you've forgotten your password, you can click here to reset it or contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458.​

  • Bird scarers: If you're using deterrents and scarers to help limit the damage caused by birds, follow the NFU's bird scarers code of practice to ensure you're using them responsibly and to avoid noise complaints from neighbours.

  • Posted by: Robert LewisPosted on: 26/04/2019 14:40:00

    Comment: Pity that the NFU has apparently been out maneuvered by Wild Justice,
  • Posted by: Bridget WhellPosted on: 27/04/2019 10:16:30

    Comment: Were the NFU not aware of any potential action until it was decided. Surely to goodness, not only should we have been aware but there ought to have been a process of discussion. You mention 'proceedings' by Wild Justice - what proceedings are the NFU going to take?
  • Posted by: Albert BullPosted on: 04/05/2019 09:20:02

    Comment: Gove knows very little about agriculture, He was probably put in there to wreck it. Like happened in the 1930s. I understand he is behind this madness and should brought to A/C

  • © 2021 - NFUonline