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Government information for entrepreneurs

Applying for a hunting licence or fauna management exemption

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

To hunt animals in the Netherlands, you need a hunting licence or falconry permit.

Hunting licence

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 only allowed to hunt these animals during the specified period.

Protected species

You are not allowed to hunt for protected species, such as:

  • red deer
  • roe
  • 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
If you intend to hunt for damage/nuisance or population control purposes, you also need to apply for an exemption from the province.

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.

Hunting permit

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 regionExternal link (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:

Falconry permit

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 permitExternal link (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 UnitExternal link (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.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO