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Protection of Birds Act 1967

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4Disturbance of nesting birds

(1)Subject to this section, if any person wilfully disturbs any wild bird included in Schedule 1 to the principal Act (wild birds protected by special penalties) while it is on or near a nest containing eggs or unflown young of any such bird he shall be guilty of an offence against that Act and liable to a special penalty under that Act.

(2)An order made with respect to any area under section 3(1) of the principal Act (establishment of bird sanctuaries) may provide, subject to this section, that any person who, within that area, wilfully disturbs any wild bird while it is on or near a nest containing eggs or unflown young shall be guilty of an offence against that Act; and paragraph (d) of the said section 3(1) (which enables the order to direct that a person committing an offence within the area to which the order relates shall be liable to a special penalty) shall have effect accordingly.

(3)A person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1) of this section or of any order made by virtue of subsection (2) of this section—

(a)by reason of anything done by him for the purpose of examining the nest of any wild bird for scientific or conservation purposes if he is an officer of, or a person for the time being approved for that purpose by, the Natural Environment Research Council; or

(b)by reason of anything done by him for the purpose of photographing any wild bird or its eggs if he is a person for the time being approved for that purpose by that Council.

(4)An authorised person shall not by virtue of any such order be guilty of an offence by reason of disturbing any wild bird included in Schedule 2 to the principal Act.

(5)In section 4 of the principal Act (general exceptions to liability under section 1 or an order under section 3 of that Act) references to the said section 1 shall include references to subsection (1) above, and references to such an order shall include references to such an order made by virtue of subsection (2) above.

(6)A licence under section 10 of the principal Act to take or kill any wild birds or to take the nests or eggs of any wild birds shall be taken as authorising any act reasonably incidental to that taking or killing which would otherwise constitute an offence against that Act by virtue of this section.

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