Pest / bird control and licensing – update.

We are receiving phone calls and queries almost daily from Pest Controllers who use birds of prey for bird deterrence asking if they need to apply for a licence under the new regulations coming into force this week.

In short – you don’t  BUT ONLY if your activities are confined entirely to bird control.

If you undertake an activity other than bird control YOU MAY need a licence.  Read on…..

Note: These regulations apply only to England.

The regulations are simple and clear.  These extracts are taken directly from the Legislation.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

 A  “licence”…. means a licence to carry on a licensable activity …..

A  “licensable activity” means an activity described in paragraph 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 of Schedule 1;  (note: only paragraphs 2 and 6 are relevant to birds of prey Ed.)

SCHEDULE 1  Licensable activities  (include):

(Either)….Selling animals as pets (or with a view to their being later resold as pets) in the course of a business including keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to their being so sold or resold.

(Or….)  Keeping or training animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes—

(a) to any audience attending in person, or

(b) by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology that enables the display of such images.

11.  The activity described in paragraph 10 does not include—

(a) keeping or training animals solely for military, police or sporting purposes,


This means that if you only use birds of prey for bird deterrence as part of a pest control business, you are NOT INCLUDED in these regulations.However If you do undertake any activities mentioned above you should by now have already contacted your Local Authority to alert them to your presence and to ask them to licence you / your business.

If you are in any doubt contact your local authority and explain the situation directly to the person who will carry out the licensing inspections.

If you want to check for yourself the actual legislation is here: .


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