Section 110 - Seal licenses
171.Section 110 sets out in detail the purposes for which Scottish Ministers may issue licences to kill or take seals, specifies information that Scottish Ministers must have regard to before granting such a licence and provides the power to require an applicant for a seal licence to provide such information as is reasonably required.
Section 111 - Methods of killing or taking seals under seal licence
172.Section 111 sets out that a seal licence must specify the method to be used to kill or take seals and that Scottish Ministers must not grant a licence to kill seals by shooting unless satisfied that the marksman involved has adequate skills and experience. It also provides that a seal licence must not authorise anything that would contravene regulation 41 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994, but that this does not restrict the things for which a licence may be issued under regulation 44 of those Regulations.
Section 112 - Seal licence conditions
173.Section 112 provides that seal licences must specify a maximum number of seals which may be killed or taken and the type of firearm to be used in shooting seals. It also provides for a number of other conditions which must be specified and for conditions that may be specified including possible close seasons to protect heavily pregnant or nursing seals The section provides for an offence of failing to comply with licence conditions and for a defence to that offence.
Section 113 – Seal licence reports
174.Section 113 requires the licensee to report to Scottish Ministers every three months from issue of the licence on certain matters, including providing “nil” returns.
Section 114 - Variation or revocation of seal licence
175.Section 114 enables Scottish Ministers to vary or revoke a seal licence at any time.
Section 115 - Seal licence fees
176.Section 115 enables Scottish Ministers to make regulations to introduce fees for seal licences.
Section 116 - Consultation and consent
177.Section 116 places a duty on Scottish Ministers to consult the Natural Environment Research Council before granting or varying any seal licence and to obtain the consent of Scottish Natural Heritage in relation to seal licences granted for specified purposes in relation to the conservation of habitats and species, introduction of species to particular areas and protecting zoological or botanical collections. The consent of SNH is only required where the licence authorises killing or taking in a “protected area” (as defined in the section).
Section 117 – Offence: harassment at haul-out sites
178.Section 117 provides for an offence of harassing a seal at a designated haul-out site and for such designations to be made by order by Scottish Ministers after consulting the Natural Environment Research Council.