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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 10: Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

63.The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 applies both terrestrially and at sea out to 12 nautical miles to protect wild birds, animals and plants.

64.Sections 1, 3, 5, 6(1), (2) and (3), 7 and 8 of that Act create offences related to the protection of birds, including an offence of killing or injuring wild birds.

65.Sections 9(1), (2), (4), (4A) and (5) and 11(1), (2) and (3C)(a) of that Act create offences related to the protection of animals, including offences of killing or injuring any wild animal or destroying any place of shelter of any wild animal.

66.Section 13(1) and (2) of that Act creates offences related to the protection of wild plants, including intentionally picking or selling any wild plant specified in the Act.

67.Sections 14 and 14ZA of that Act create offences related to the introduction of new species into the wild and the sale of invasive non-native species.

68.That Act includes powers under section 16 for the Secretary of State and Natural England to issue licences to authorise these activities in certain circumstances (for example, in the case of some of the activities, if they are done for scientific, research or educational purposes). Where a licence has been granted and the activity is carried out in accordance with the terms of the licence, no offence is committed.

69.This section provides that the powers under section 16(1), (2), (3) and (4) of that Act to grant such licences are to be exercised by the MMO, instead of the Secretary of State or Natural England, in the case of any such activities in the sea adjacent to England that lies seaward of mean low water mark out to 12 nautical miles.

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