NIEA launch consultation on General Licences to control pest birds following Wild Justice’s legal challenge

As you will be aware, just before Christmas 2021, Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) unfortunately had to issue interim General Licences in response to the threat of legal action from Wild Justice. The subsequent public consultation has been launched today.

We feel the Department made the right call and the public consultation allows them the freedom to reintroduce species that were taken away by the temporary licence, should they feel there is enough evidence to do so.

It is therefore imperative that you, your friends, and others engage with the Department. It is important you all have your say to support the continued control of pest birds. Responses cannot all be identical as although they are submitted by different people, they may be treated as one response, so please vary your comments.

The consultation is open for 8 weeks so please take your time, research and provide any detailed evidence or constructive comments you may have as to why species like gulls and rooks need to be controlled and their continued presence on the General Licence is essential.

The consultation will give you the opportunity to give your views and any additional evidence you have around the following aspects of the three general licences:-

  1. Species included
  2. Alternative methods of control
  3. Their use on protected sites
  4. Licence conditions

There are various ways to respond to the consultation – online survey, email or by post. It may be worth considering responding by email or post including any photo evidence you may have.

Full details of how you can respond to the consultation can be found here

Some points you may wish to consider but are not limited to are:

Local population size

Damage to livestock

Impact on other species such as nesting or young birds that are of conservation interest

Spread of disease

Recent evidence, studies or news articles such as the one in


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