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Protection of Birds Act 1954

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4General exceptions

(1)Nothing in section one or in any order made under section three of this Act shall make unlawful—

(a)anything done in pursuance of a requirement by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under section ninety-eight of the Agriculture Act, 1947, or by the Secretary of State under section thirty-nine of the Agriculture (Scotland) Act, 1948;

(b)except in the case of a wild bird included in the First Schedule to this Act or the nest or egg of such a bird, anything done by virtue of any power conferred on the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries by or under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1950;

(c)the taking of, or an attempt to take, any wild bird if the bird is taken or to be taken solely for the purpose of ringing or marking, or examining any ring or mark on, that or some other bird and then releasing it;

(d)the killing, injuring or taking of, or an attempt to kill or take, any wild bird for the purposes of an experiment duly authorised under the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876.

(2)Notwithstanding any of the provisions of section one or of any order made under section three of this Act, a person shall not be found guilty of an offence against this Act—

(a)by reason of the killing or injuring of, or an attempt to kill, a wild bird other than a bird included in the First Schedule to this Act if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber or any other form of property or to fisheries ;

(b)by reason of the taking of, or an attempt to take, any wild bird if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that the bird had been disabled otherwise than by his act and was taken or to be taken solely for the purpose of tending it and releasing it when no longer disabled;

(c)by reason of the killing of any wild bird if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that the bird had been so seriously disabled otherwise than by his act that there was no reasonable chance of its recovering ;

(d)by reason of any act made unlawful by any of the provisions aforesaid if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that the act was the incidental result of a lawful operation and could not reasonably have been avoided.

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