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Hi all and just a general enquiry really but one that I can't seem to find a definitive answer to. As we seem to be going through a period of change with regards to general licences I wonder if anyone could inform me as to which licences at present I would need to comply with when controlling feral pigeons, magpies and squirrels with a non fac air rifle. Many thanks in advance

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It would help if you stated in which of the 4 uk countries you reside as each have their own General Licenses. Each can be read by visiting the BASC website - General License. Reading is recommended.

As I understand it (& I'm willing to be corrected) all birds are protected under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981 unless exemptions are made by the General License(s). And even where a GL specifies a type of bird it doesn't necessarily mean it can be shot, because the shooter would have to demonstrate that the purpose for shooting it was covered by the GL. For example, for England, GL35 includes feral pigeons but if challenged you would have to prove just how in your circumstances those pigeons were causing a risk to public health or public safety. GL34 would cover magpies in order to conserve wild birds. No GL is necessary for squirrels. HTH.

 

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