Search Legislation

Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Wild hares, rabbits etc.

6Protection of wild hares etc.

(1)The 1981 Act is amended as follows.

(2)After section 10, insert—

10AProtection of wild hares etc.

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part, any person who intentionally or recklessly kills, injures or takes any wild animal included in Schedule 5A in the close season for the animal is guilty of an offence.

(2)In this section, “close season” means—

(a)in the case of a mountain hare, the period in any year beginning with 1st March and ending with 31st July;

(b)in the case of a brown hare, the period in any year beginning with 1st February and ending with 30th September.

(3)The Scottish Ministers may by order vary the close season for any wild animal included in Schedule 5A which is specified in the order.

(4)If it appears to the Scottish Ministers expedient that any wild animals included in Schedule 5A should be protected during any period outside the close season for those animals, they may by order declare any period not exceeding 14 days as a period of special protection for those animals.

(5)Before making an order under subsection (4), the Scottish Ministers must consult such persons appearing to them to be representative of persons interested in the killing or taking of animals of the kind proposed to be protected by the order as they consider appropriate.

(6)Where an order is made under subsection (4), this section has effect as if any period of special protection declared by the order forms part of the close season for those animals.

(7)An order under subsection (3) or (4) may be made as respects the whole of Scotland or any part of Scotland specified in the order.

(8)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1), the animal in question is to be presumed to have been a wild animal unless the contrary is shown.

10BExceptions to s. 10A

(1)A person is not guilty of an offence under section 10A(1) by reason of the killing of an animal included in Schedule 5A if he shows that the animal had been so seriously disabled otherwise than by his unlawful act that there was no reasonable chance of its recovering.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under section 10A(1) by reason of taking any such animal if he shows that—

(a)he had a legal right to take such an animal or permission, from a person who had a right to give permission, to take such an animal; and

(b)the animal—

(i)had been disabled otherwise than by his unlawful act; and

(ii)was taken solely for the purpose of tending it and releasing it when no longer disabled.

(3)An authorised person is not guilty of an offence under section 10A(1) by reason of the killing or injuring of an animal included in Schedule 5A if he shows that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber or any other form of property or to fisheries.

(4)An authorised person is not entitled to rely on the defence provided by subsection (3) as respects any action if––

(a)it had become apparent, before the action was taken, that it would prove necessary for the purpose mentioned in that subsection; and

(b)either—

(i)a licence under section 16 authorising the action had not been applied for as soon as reasonably practicable after that fact had become apparent; or

(ii)an application for such a licence had been determined.

(5)An authorised person is not entitled to rely on the defence provided by subsection (3) as respects any action unless he notified the appropriate authority as soon as reasonably practicable after the action was taken that he had taken it.

(6)In subsection (5), “the appropriate authority” has the same meaning as in section 16(9).

(7)Nothing in section 10A makes unlawful—

(a)anything done in pursuance of a requirement by the Scottish Ministers under section 39 of the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948; or

(b)anything done under, or in pursuance of an order made under, the Animal Health Act 1981..

(3)In section 26(2) (regulations, orders, notices etc.), after “5” insert “, 10A(4)”.

(4)In the title of Schedule 5 (animals which are protected), at the end add “under section 9”.

(5)After that Schedule, insert—

SCHEDULE 5AAnimals which are protected under section 10A in their close season

(introduced by sections 10A and 22)

Common nameScientific name
Hare, mountainLepus timidus
Hare, brownLepus europaeus.

7Prevention of poaching: wild hares, rabbits etc.

(1)The 1981 Act is amended as follows.

(2)In the italic heading before section 9 (protection of certain wild animals), at the end add “and prevention of poaching”.

(3)After section 11F (inserted by section 13(3)), insert—

11GPrevention of poaching: wild hares, rabbits etc.

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part, any person who intentionally or recklessly kills, injures or takes any wild animal included in Schedule 6A is guilty of an offence.

(2)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1), the animal in question is to be presumed to have been a wild animal unless the contrary is shown.

11HExceptions to s. 11G

(1)A person is not guilty of an offence under section 11G(1)—

(a)by reason of the killing of an animal included in Schedule 6A if he had a legal right, or permission from a person who had a right to give permission, to kill such an animal; or

(b)by reason of the taking of such an animal if he had a legal right, or permission from a person who had a right to give permission, to take such an animal.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under section 11G(1) by reason of the killing of an animal included in Schedule 6A if he shows that the animal had been so seriously disabled otherwise than by his unlawful act that there was no reasonable chance of its recovering.

(3)Nothing in section 11G makes unlawful—

(a)anything done in pursuance of a requirement by the Scottish Ministers under section 39 of the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948; or

(b)anything done under, or in pursuance of an order made under, the Animal Health Act 1981..

(4)After Schedule 6, insert—

SCHEDULE 6AAnimals not to be poached

(introduced by sections 11G and 22)

Common nameScientific name
Hare, mountainLepus timidus
Hare, brownLepus europaeus
RabbitOryctolagus cuniculus.

8Sale, possession etc. of wild hares, rabbits etc. killed or taken unlawfully

(1)The 1981 Act is amended as follows.

(2)After section 11H (inserted by section 7(3)), insert—

11ISale, possession etc. of wild hares, rabbits etc. killed or taken unlawfully

(1)Any person who does any of the following is guilty of an offence—

(a)has in his possession or control any live or dead wild animal which has been killed or taken in contravention of section 10A or 11G, or any part of or anything derived from such an animal;

(b)sells, offers or exposes for sale, or has in his possession or transports for the purposes of sale any such animal or any part of or anything derived from such an animal; or

(c)publishes or causes to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that he buys or sells or intends to buy or sell any of those things.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) in relation to an activity mentioned in that subsection if he shows that he carried out the activity concerned with reasonable excuse.

(3)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1), the animal in question is to be presumed to have been a wild animal unless the contrary is shown..

9Wild hares, rabbits etc.: licences

In section 16 of the 1981 Act (certain offences not committed if activity done in accordance with licence)—

(a)in subsection (3)—

(i)after “9(1), (2), (4) and (4A),” insert “10A(1),”,

(ii)after “11C” (inserted by section 13(4)) insert “, 11G(1)”,

(b)in subsection (4)(b) after “9(5)” insert “, 11I(1)”.

10Wild hares, rabbits etc.: power to vary Schedules to the 1981 Act and prescribe close seasons

In section 22 of the 1981 Act (power to vary schedules and prescribe close seasons)—

(a)in subsection (1)(b), for “or 6” substitute “, 5A, 6 or 6A”,

(b)after subsection (2), insert—

(2ZA)An order under subsection (1) adding any animal to Schedule 5A may prescribe a close season in the case of that animal for the purposes of section 10A..

11Wild hares and rabbits: miscellaneous

(1)The 1981 Act is amended as follows.

(2)Before section 12 (protection of certain mammals), insert—

12YARelaxation of restriction on night shooting of hares and rabbits

Schedule 7, which amends certain Acts prohibiting night shooting of hares and rabbits by occupiers of land etc., has effect..

(3)Section 12 (protection of certain mammals) is repealed.

(4)In Schedule 7—

(a)for the title substitute “Amendment of Acts In Relation To Night Shooting of Hares and Rabbits”,

(b)in the section reference after the Schedule title, for “12” substitute “12YA”.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Show Explanatory Notes for Sections: Displays relevant parts of the explanatory notes interweaved within the legislation content.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources