Natural England is revoking three general licenses for controlling certain wild birds as of Thursday 25 April 2019.
These licenses (GL 04/05/06) cover 16 species of birds including several members of the crow family, Canada goose, some gulls and pigeons.
The change follows a legal challenge to the way the licenses have been issued, which could mean users who rely on them are not acting lawfully.
Natural England is undertaking new licensing assessments to support lethal control of certain birds in defined situations, such as to prevent serious damage to livestock from carrion crow and to preserve public health and safety from the impacts of feral pigeons. It intends to start issuing these licenses on gov.uk from the week commencing 29 April when more details will be available.
If people need to take action in the meantime they will need to apply for an individual license, using a simplified process which will be available on gov.uk from 25 April.
Anyone exercising lethal control of birds after Thursday 25 April 2019 without taking the above steps will not be covered by a general license and could be committing an offense.
If you are unsure what you should do, visit the Natural England licensing webpage for more information and advice.