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Part 6Conservation of seals

Offence: killing, injuring or taking seals

107Offence: killing, injuring or taking seals

Killing, injuring or taking a live seal (intentionally or recklessly) is an offence.

108Exceptions: alleviating suffering

(1)It is not an offence under section 107 for a person to end a seal’s life humanely (or to injure a seal when attempting to do so) if—

(a)it has been seriously disabled (otherwise than by the person’s unlawful conduct),

(b)it has no reasonable chance of recovering, and

(c)ending its life—

(i)is the only satisfactory way to end its suffering, and

(ii)is not detrimental to the maintenance of the population of any species of seal at a favourable conservation status in their natural range (within the meaning of Article 1(e) of the Habitats Directive).

(2)It is not an offence under section 107 for a person to take a seal (or to kill or injure a seal when attempting to take it) if—

(a)it has been disabled (otherwise than by the person’s unlawful conduct),

(b)it is (or is to be) taken only in order to—

(i)tend it with a view to releasing it after it has recovered, or

(ii)release it after it has been tended,

(c)it is (or is to be) taken in a manner and in circumstances unlikely to cause the seal to suffer unnecessarily, and

(d)taking it—

(i)is the only satisfactory way to help it to recover, and

(ii)is not detrimental to the maintenance of the population of any species of seal at a favourable conservation status in their natural range (within the meaning of Article 1(e) of the Habitats Directive).

(3)It is the duty of a person who kills, injures or takes a seal in a manner which is lawful by virtue of this section to report the matter to the Scottish Ministers as soon as reasonably practical after doing so.

(4)Failure to comply with the reporting duty is an offence.

109Exceptions: licensed activity

It is not an offence under section 107—

(a)to kill or take a seal in accordance with a seal licence,

(b)to take a seal in order to, or to injure a seal when attempting to, kill it in accordance with a seal licence,

(c)to kill or injure a seal when attempting to take it in accordance with a seal licence, or

(d)to do anything in accordance with a licence granted under regulation 44 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations.