Other Animals and the Law
and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation
of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 are the main pieces of
legislation that afford protection to animals.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act includes provision for the
protection of certain wild animals as listed under Schedule 5 of
the act, thereby prohibiting the intentional killing, injuring or
taking, the possession and the trade in wild animals. In addition,
places used for shelter and protection are safeguarded against
intentional damage, destruction and obstruction.
There are also a number of European protected species afforded
protection under the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations.
This legislation makes it an offence to deliberately kill, capture,
or disturb a European protected species, or to damage or destroy
the breeding site or resting place of such an animal.
Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 provides protection for mammal
species especially against acts of cruelty. An offence would be
committed under this act if any person mutilates, kicks, beats,
nails or otherwise impales, stabs, burns, stones, crushes, drowns,
drags or asphyxiates any wild mammal with intent to inflict
unnecessary suffering. There are a number of exceptions: killing of
a seriously disabled animal as an act of mercy, killing of injured
animals if quick and humane, authorised lawful killing e.g. for
pest control purposes.
Other legislation that provides protection for
wildlife, or specific groups of wildlife include: