The derogation which allows farmers to shoot certain wild birds, such as wood pigeons, has been extended under the end of July, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has said.

The derogation, called the Wild Birds Declaration and which falls under his department’s remit, was due to expire at the end of April.

However, it has now been extended to allow for the Department to complete a review of the submissions it received as part of the public consultation process.

“Work on the upcoming Wild Bird Declarations is ongoing. In the interim, I extended the existing Wild Bird Declarations by a period of three months up to the end of July 2022.

“This was to allow for the completion of the review of submissions received as part of the public consultation process, the receipt of legal advice and other internal discussions in relation to species (including urban gulls) included in the declarations,” he said.

He added that his department has also “received legal advice in relation to the Wild Bird Declarations and is reviewing same”.


An individual may apply for a licence under Section 42 of the Wildlife Acts at any time of the year to take appropriate steps to stop serious damage being caused by a protected wild bird or animal, the minister said.

This allows farmers to shoot birds which are causing serious damage to food (including human food products and animal feeds), livestock, poultry or agricultural crops (including vegetables or fruit) either on pasture or on cultivated land.

“To date in 2022 my department has received only one application for such a licence,” the minister said and this was to remove a nest from a private residence.