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Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

Background

219.In response to concern about the enforcement of the provisions of Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the then Secretary of State established in 1994 a working group to consider the scope for improvements in the enforcement of wildlife species controls. The working group reported in 1995. Further to this report the Secretary of State established a further group to consider changes to wildlife enforcement legislation. The group submitted its recommendations in 1997. Following consultations, the majority of the recommendations were accepted and form the basis of the changes in the Act.

220.All wild birds, some animals and some plants are protected by the 1981 Act. Some controls protect specimens in their natural habitat, for example it is an offence to injure, kill or take such specimens from the wild. Further controls ban the sale (and related activities) of these specimens unless a licence has been obtained. Another layer of protection is provided for certain bird species, which must be ringed and registered with the DETR if held in captivity.

221.The Act does not affect these controls significantly or change the species to which they apply.

222.The measures in the Act will increase the enforcement powers under the 1981 Act, and will increase the sentencing options available to the Courts.

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