Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act 1975

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1975 c. 48


Conservation ofWild Creaturesand Wild Plants Act 1975

1975 CHAPTER 48

An Act to provide for the protection and conservation of wild creatures and of plants growing wild and to amend section 9 of the Badgers Act 1973.

[1st August 1975]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Restriction on killing etc. protected wild creatures.

1 Restriction on killing etc. protected wild creatures.

1. If, save as may be permitted by or under this Act, any person without reasonable excuse—

a ) kills, injures or takes, or attempts to kill, injure or take any protected wild creature; or
b ) has in his possession any protected wild creature which is not shown by him to have been killed or taken otherwise than in contravention of this Act

he shall be guilty of an offence:

Provided that an authorised person shall not be guilty of an offence against this section by reason only of any action taken in respect of a protected wild creature, if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property.

S-2 Restriction on sale of certain wild creatures.

2 Restriction on sale of certain wild creatures.

(1) If, save as may be permitted by or under this Act, any person without reasonable excuse sells, offers for sale or has in his possession for sale any live or dead creature of a species specified in Schedule 1 to this Act, whether or not found living wild, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) In this section any reference to sale shall be construed as including a reference to barter and exchange and any reference to dead creatures shall be construed as including the skins or skeletons of such creatures.

S-3 Restriction on marking or ringing.

3 Restriction on marking or ringing.

3. If, save as may be permitted by or under this Act, any person marks any protected wild creature or any other wild creature being a bat or attaches any ring, tag or other marking device to a protected wild creature or any other wild creature being a bat, he shall be guilty of an offence.

S-4 Restriction on uprooting wild plants.

4 Restriction on uprooting wild plants.

4. If, save as may be permitted by or under this Act, any person, other than an authorised person, without reasonable excuse uproots any plant, he shall be guilty of an offence.

S-5 Protection of rare plants.

5 Protection of rare plants.

5. If, save as may be permitted by or under this Act, any person without reasonable excuse picks, uproots or destroys any protected plant, he shall be guilty of an offence unless the picking, uprooting or destruction occurs as an incidental result, which could not reasonably have been avoided, of any operation which was carried out in accordance with good agricultural or forestry practice.

S-6 General exceptions.

6 General exceptions.

6. A person shall not be guilty of an offence against this Act by reason only of—

a ) the taking, or attempted taking, of any protected wild creature which has been disabled otherwise than by his act and was taken, or attempted to be taken, solely for the purpose of tending it
b ) the killing, or attempted killing, of any protected wild creature which appeared to be so seriously injured or in such a condition that to kill it was, or would have been, an act of mercy; or
c ) the doing of anything in pursuance or furtherance of any obligation imposed, or in exercise of any powers conferred, by or under an Act of Parliament.
S-7 Variation of Schedules.

7 Variation of Schedules.

(1) Where, on a representation made to him by the Nature Conservancy Council, it appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary in the interests of the proper conservation of wild creatures or plants he may by order add any wild creature or plant to, or remove any wild creature or plant from, Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 to this Act.

(2) An order made under subsection (1) of this section may apply—

(a ) to the whole or to particular provisions of this Act;

(b ) generally or to a particular area;

(c ) to wild creatures or plants in a particular category; or

(d ) at all times or at particular times of the year;

and the order may make different provision for different circumstances.

S-8 Power to grant licences.

8 Power to grant licences.

(1) A licence may be granted to any person by the appropriate authority stipulated in the next subsection authorising that person, notwithstanding anything in this Act or in any order made under this Act, but subject to compliance with any specified conditions—

(a ) for scientific or educational purposes or for the conservation of wild creatures, to kill or take within a specified area by any specified means or to have in his possession any number of specified protected wild creatures;

(b ) for the purposes of any specified zoological gardens or collection, to take within a specified area by any specified means or to have in his possession any number of specified protected wild creatures;

(c ) for any of the purposes mentioned in paragraphs (a ) and (b ) of this subsection, to offer for sale or to sell or to have in his possession for sale any number of specified live or dead creatures the sale, offering for sale or possession of which for sale would otherwise be an offence under section 2 of this Act,

(d ) for the purpose of marking or ringing, to take within a specified area by any specified means any specified protected wild creatures or any other wild creatures being bats, to mark such protected wild creatures or other wild creatures being bats, or to attach to them any specified ring, tag or other marking device;

(e ) for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease, to kill or take protected wild creatures within a specified area by any specified means; or

(f ) for scientific or educational purposes or for the conservation of plants, to pick or uproot within a specified area by any specified means any plant of a specified species.

In this subsection ‘specified’ means specified in the licence and in paragraph (c ) of this subsection any reference to dead creatures shall be construed as including the skins or skeletons of such creatures.

(2) The appropriate authority for the grant of a licence under the foregoing subsection shall be—

(a ) in the case of a licence under paragraph (a ), (b ), (c ), (d ) or (f ) of that subsection, the Nature Conservancy Council; and

(b ) in the case of a licence under paragraph (e ) of that subsection, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food or, in Scotland, the Secretary of State.

(3) Subject to the provisions of the next subsection, any licence granted under this section shall remain in force for such period as shall be specified therein.

(4) A licence granted under this section may be revoked at any time by the authority by which it was granted.

(5) A licence granted under this section shall not confer any right of entry upon any land.

(6) Without prejudice to any other penalty which he may have incurred under this or any other Act, any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any condition...

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