Articles | Guidance & Legislation

Falconry Licenses and Legislation

It is the responsibility of anyone who has a bird of prey under their care to be aware of and comply with all aspects of law appropriate to ownership including correct registration, CITES requirements, the Animal Welfare Act, the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Act and requirements for the Animal Activities License (where relevant).

Below is a list of quick links to all relevant legislation and paperwork you may need:

Bird Ownership / Captive Breeding

Article 10 Documents

All CITES-listed specimens being used for commercial purposes must have an A10. This includes buying or selling, offering for sale, and display for commercial purposes.

Registering captive schedule 4 birds

You must register the following birds of prey (schedule 4 birds) if you're their keeper:

  • honey buzzard
  • white-tailed eagle
  • golden eagle
  • goshawk
  • marsh harrier
  • Montagu's harrier
  • osprey
  • peregrine falcon
  • merlin
  • However if you get a merlin or a peregrine that is already ringed (or microchipped) and has a valid UK article 10 certificate, you don't need to register it.

    Independant Bird Register

    The IBR is a nationwide register for stolen, lost and found birds of prey. Register your bird with the IBR to help it be quickly reunited with you should you lose it.

    Wild Bird Licenses / Hunting

    Hunting Season Dates

    Many quarry species do not need licenses to hunt, however there are certain legal hunting seasons that should be followed. Falconers should always follow the dates set out in the link below. It is your responsiblity to check that quarry is in season before you hunt it.

    Licence to kill wild birds for falconry (A41 and LR41)

    You must apply for this licence if you intend to kill quarry species of wild birds listed in table 7b on the application form for falconry purposes.

    Licence to kill or take to prevent serious damage (GL42)
    Licence to kill or take for public health or safety (GL41)

    Wild Bird Rehabilitation

    Licence to keep injured wild birds for rehab (GL07)
    Vets licence to keeping injured wild birds for rehab (GL08)

    Commerical Falconry Activities

    Animal Activities Licence

    All commercial bird of prey businesses doing talks, static/flying demonstrations and media work are expected to apply for a AAL via their local council. You will be able to find further spesific details of the process via your local coucil's website.

    Transport Licence

    You must have a transporter authorisation if you transport animals as part of an economic activity (a business or trade), for a distance over 65km.

    You will need a:
    - type 1 transporter authorisation for journeys over 65km and up to 8 hours
    - type 2 transporter authorisation for journeys over 8 hours

    You need to contact APHA’s Welfare in Transport team for a transporter authorisation application pack. This will include the forms you need to submit, and guidance on what to include in your application.

    Zoo Licence

    Commercial bird of prey businesses opening to the public for 7 or more days in a 12 month period will need to apply for a Zoo License.