Police Probe Wild Bird Killings In The UK from the BBC

by Larry Jordan on August 25, 2008

Black-heded Gull

This is a news story from the BBC I thought was rather interesting as far as the legality of killing gulls with a special licence**.

“Police are investigating the suspected deliberate killings of a number of wild birds in North Yorkshire.  (Image from the BBC)

Wildlife crime officers said there had been unconfirmed reports that black-headed gulls had been illegally killed in the Craven area.

The birds can be killed under the conditions of a special licence but without this it is an offence which could lead to six months in prison. 

Anyone with information on the killings is being asked to contact police.

PC Vanessa Bateson, Craven wildlife crime officer, said: “It is crucial that any information about illegal killing of wild species such as black headed gulls is passed onto the police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible.”

During the past 20 years the population of the black headed gulls has fallen by 40%, which is double the decline of other gulls.”

**This is what I have discovered in researching the “Licence To Kill”.  As far as I can tell, the Black-headed Gull is not on the latest species list.  The entire document can be found here: Licence To Kill

Guidance Note: The licence permits authorised persons (commonly landowners and occupiers – see note j ) to carry out a range of activities against birds of the species listed. This licence may only be relied upon where the activities are carried out for the purposes of preventing the spread of disease or preventing serious damage to livestock, crops, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters. This licence does not permit action to prevent damage to other forms of property or to prevent nuisance.
Persons relying on this licence must be satisfied that non-lethal methods of resolving the problem are ineffective or impracticable. Users must comply with the terms and conditions; Notes are provided as further guidance and advice on best practice.

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