The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, ensures protection for a wide range of plants, animals and birds.
However, it is recognised within the Act that there are circumstances where it is desirable to allow appropriate authorities to licence acts which would otherwise be illegal under the terms of the legislation.
General Licences cover certain types of activity relating to birds, such as preserving public health or air safety, and preventing the spread of disease. These are not issued to individuals, but may be relied on by individuals authorised to undertake the specific activity.
It is essential to comply fully with all terms and conditions while operating under a General Licence to ensure you are acting lawfully. Information on the current General Licences is available on the Scottish Natural Heritage website:
Application form and guidance notes for bird species not included in General Licences:
Cage traps and Larsen traps used under General Licences 1,2,3 and 4 must carry a tag or sign displaying a code which can be obtained by contacting your local Police Wildlife Crime Officer.