Safeguarding the future of our wildife

                                  Wild birds and the law

     The Wildlife & Countryside act 1981


The Wildlife & Countryside act 1981 is the primary legislation  which protects animals, plants and certain habitats here in the UK


                                          Definition of a wild bird.

 Under the wildlife and countryside act , a wild bird is defined as any bird of a species that is resident in or is a visitor to the european territory of any member state in a wild state.

 Game birds however are not included in this definition (exept for limited parts of the act) they are covered by the game acts, which fully protects them during the close season.

 Basic protection.

 All birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law and it is thus an offence, with certain exeptions

 ( see exeptions), to

 . Intentionally kill, injure or take any wild birds.

 . Intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird whilst it is in use or being built.

 . Intentionally take or destroy the egg of any wild bird.

 Have in one's possession or control any wild bird dead or alive, or any part of a wild bird which has been taken in contravention of the Act or the Protection of Birds Act 1954.

 . Have in one's possession or control any egg or part of an egg which has been taken in contravention of the Act or the Protection of Birds Act 1954.

 . Use traps or similiar items to kill, injure or take wild birds

 . Have in one's possession or control any bird of a species occurring on Schedule 4 of the Act unless registered and in most cases ringed, in accordance with the Secretary of State's regulations ( see schedules).

 . Intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 while it is nest building or at a nest containg eggs or young or disturb the depenant young of such a bird.


  That maximum penalty that can be imposed for an offence under the Wildlife and Coutryside Act-in respect of a single bird, nest or egg- is a fine of up to £5,000 and/ or six months imprisonment.

                                               to report an incident call

                                             Enviroment Agency Hotline

                             0800 80 70 60




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