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To hunt animals in the Netherlands, you need a hunting licence or falconry permit.
In the Netherlands, there are only five species of animal you are allowed to hunt:
- mallard (from 15 August - 31 January)
- hare (from 15 October - 31 December)
- pheasant hen (from 15 October - 31 December)
- phesant cock (from 15 October - 31 January)
- wood pigeon (from 15 October - 31 January)
- rabbit (from 15 August - 31 January)
You are not allowed to hunt for protected species, such as:
- red deer
- wild boar
Damage control and fauna management
The only exceptions to hunting protected species are in the following 2 cases:
- when the animal causes damage or nuisance
- when this species overpopulates an area
This is in addition to a hunting licence or falconry permit. In some cases, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry can declare an exemption for an entire species, for instance because a protected species (like geese) is damaging your crop.
If you want to hunt with a rifle, you will need a hunting licence. You can apply for a hunting licence from the police in your region (in Dutch). You must also be a member of a your local hunting association. To apply for a hunting licence you must meet the following criteria:
- You are 18 years of age or over
- You have sat a hunting with guns exam (in Dutch)
If you want to hunt using a falcon or hawk, or you want to manage game with a falcon, hawk or harris hawk, you need a falconry permit (in Dutch) from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
Fauna Management Unit recognition
The province allows a provincial Fauna Management Unit to take care of fauna management on its behalf. These units are an alliance of hunters approved by the provincial authority. The provincial Fauna Management Unit (Faunabeheer Eenheid, FBE, in Dutch) describes its management of animal species in a fauna management plan.
Online application procedure via Message Box
At the province of Noord-Brabant you can apply for the Fauna Management Unit recognition digitally via Message Box. Message Box is a secure e-mail system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.