Wildlife Act 1976

Enforcement of protection of wild birds.

22

22.(1) Subject to subsection (2) hereof, this section applies to every wild bird other than a wild bird of a species specified in the Third Schedule to this Act.

(2) The Minister may by regulations provide that—

(a) a wild bird of a species specified in the Third Schedule to this Act shall be a wild bird to which this section applies,

(b) this section shall not apply to a wild bird which is of a species specified in the regulations,

(c) in such places or areas as are specified in the regulations and as regards such period or periods as are so specified, subsection (4) of this section shall not have effect, either, as may be so specified, generally or as regards such species of wild bird as are so specified,

(d) this section shall not have effect in relation to the taking or removing by persons of a specified class of the eggs and nests of wild birds of a species so specified,

and in case any regulations under this subsection are for the time being in force, this section shall be construed and have effect subject to and in accordance with them; provided that regulations made by the Minister under this subsection and which deal with any matter mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of this subsection shall be so made only after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

(3) A wild bird to which this section for the time being applies is in this Act referred to as a protected wild bird.

(4) Subject to the exceptions specified in subsection (5) of this section, any person who—

(a) (i) hunts a protected wild bird, other than a protected wild bird which is of a species specified in an order under section 24 of this Act, otherwise than under and in accordance with a permission or licence granted by the Minister under this Act, or

(ii) hunts a protected wild bird which is of a species specified in an order under section 24 of this Act, otherwise than—

(A) under and in accordance with such a permission or a licence granted by the Minister under this Act other than section 29,

(B) under and in accordance with a licence granted under section 29 of this Act and (also) on a day, or during a period of days, specified in a relevant order under the said section 24,

(b) injures a protected wild bird otherwise than while hunting it,

(i) in case the protected wild bird is of a species other than a species specified in an order under section 24 of this Act, under and in accordance with a licence or permission granted by the Minister under this Act,

(ii) in case the protected wild bird is of a species so specified, either in the manner mentioned in clause (A) of paragraph (a) (ii) of this subsection, or in the manner and on a day, or during a period of days, mentioned in clause (B) of the said paragraph (a) (ii),

(c) wilfully takes or removes the eggs or nest of a protected wild bird otherwise than under and in accordance with such a licence,

(d) wilfully destroys, injures or mutilates the eggs or nest of a protected wild bird,

(e) wilfully disturbs a protected wild bird on or near a nest containing eggs or unflown young,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) It shall not be an offence for a person—

(a) while engaged in ornithology wilfully to disturb a protected wild bird, or

(b) while so engaged or engaged in agriculture, F50[aquaculture, fishing, forestry or turbary] unintentionally to injure or kill a protected wild bird, or

F51[(c) to remove for conservation purposes or to destroy unintentionally the eggs or nest of a protected wild bird in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry,]

(d) to capture an injured or disabled protected wild bird F52[, or the orphaned and dependant young of such a bird,] for the purpose of killing it humanely F53[], or

(e) to kill humanely a protected wild bird which has been injured in the manner described in paragraph (b), or captured in the manner described in paragraph (d) or injured in the circumstances described in paragraph (h) of this subsection F54[and where the bird is so injured or disabled that there is no reasonable chance of its recovering], or

(f) F55[]

(g) to destroy or remove any such nest which is built in or on an occupied building F56[unless the nest contains the eggs or young of a protected wild bird], or

F57[(h) while constructing a road or while carrying on any archaeological operation, building operation or work of engineering construction or while constructing or carrying on such other operation or work as may be prescribed, unintentionally to kill or to injure a protected wild bird or to remove for conservation purposes or unintentionally to destroy, injure or mutilate the eggs or nest of a protected wild bird,]

and nothing in this section shall make unlawful anything which is duly done pursuant to F58[a licence or other permission granted or issued pursuant to the Wildlife Acts, 1976 and 2000, or which is duly done pursuant to any other statute] or statutory instrument, which is permitted to be done under such a statute or instrument or which is done pursuant to and in accordance with a licence or other permission granted or issued pursuant to such a statute or instrument or anything caused by or which results from, or is consequent upon or the effect of any other act or thing which is lawfully done.

(6) In any proceedings for an offence under this section relating to a protected wild bird which is of a species other than a species specified in Part I of the Fourth Schedule to this Act, it shall be a defence for the defendant to prove that any capturing or killing complained of was urgently necessary for the purpose of stopping damage described in section 42 (1) of this Act being caused and that in the particular circumstances of the case it was not practical for him to apply to the Minister beforehand for a permission under section 42 of this Act and that the defendant reasonably believed that damage mentioned in the said section 42 (1) was being caused by the protected wild bird to which the alleged offence relates or by protected wild birds of the same species as that of such protected wild bird.

(7) In any proceedings for an offence under this section in which it is alleged that the defendant wilfully disturbed a protected wild bird described in subsection (4) (e) of this section, it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove that at the time of the alleged offence the defendant was not engaged in ornithology.

(8) Proceedings for an offence under this section may be taken in any District Court District, and in case such proceedings are taken and apart from this section the Justice before whom the proceedings are brought would not have jurisdiction to hear and determine the proceedings, then for the purpose of conferring such jurisdiction the offence may be treated as having been committed within the District Court District to which such Justice is assigned.

(9) The Minister may grant a licence to a person—

(a) at any time to capture or kill humanely or capture and humanely kill a protected wild bird of a species specified in the licence for such educational, scientific or other purposes as shall be so specified,

(b) to hunt, in accordance with the licence, on such day or during such period of days as is specified in the licence, protected wild birds which are both pen-reared and of a species so specified,

(c) to so hunt, on such day or during such period of days, protected wild birds of a species so specified for the purpose of either training gun dogs for any field sport or holding gun dog trials,

(d) to F59[examine, inspect or] take the nests or eggs of protected wild birds of a species so specified for such educational, scientific or other purposes as shall be so specified.

F60[(e) to take the eggs of a protected wild bird of a species specified in the licence for the purposes of having them hatched out for repopulation, or re-introduction to the wild or, for such purposes, to move such eggs from the nest of a bird so specified to that of another bird of the same species or for such other purposes as the Minister considers appropriate in the circumstances in respect of the species so specified,

(f) to take or make photographic, video or other pictures of a protected wild bird of a species specified in the licence on or near a nest containing eggs or unflown young,

(g) to have in possession, for a reasonable period of time

(i) an injured or disabled wild bird, or

(ii) one or more than one dependant young of a wild bird which is orphaned,

with the intention of tending and later releasing such bird or young back into the wild when and only when such bird or young, as the case may be, is no longer injured, disabled or dependant,

(h) to retain possession of a wild bird, that for reasons of disability or for other reasons deemed reasonable by the Minister, would, if released, be unlikely to survive unaided in the wild.]

(10) The Minister may by regulations provide that—

(a) subsection (6) of this section shall have effect in relation to any proceedings for offences under this section relating to protected wild birds of a species specified in both Part I of the Fourth Schedule to this Act and in the regulations,

(b) the said subsection (6) shall not have effect in relation to any such proceedings relating to protected wild birds of a species specified in the regulations,

and the said subsection (6) shall have effect accordingly.

Annotations

Amendments:

F50

Substituted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(i), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F51

Substituted (6.12.1985) by European Communities (Wildlife Act, 1976) (Amendment) Regulations 1985 (S.I. No. 397 of 1985), reg. 3(b), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

F52

Inserted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(ii), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F53

Deleted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(ii), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F54

Inserted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(iii), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F55

Deleted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(iv), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F56

Inserted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(v), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F57

Substituted (6.12.1985) by European Communities (Wildlife Act, 1976) (Amendment) Regulations 1985 (S.I. No. 397 of 1985), reg. 3(d), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

F58

Substituted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(a)(vi), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F59

Inserted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(b)(i), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

F60

Inserted (31.07.2001) by Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 (38/2000), s. 30(b)(ii), S.I. No. 371 of 2001.

Modifications (not altering text):

C16

Application of subs. (5) potentially restricted (4.10.2010) by European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) (Restrictions on Use of Poisoned Bait) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 481 of 2010), reg. 4(4).

Prohibition of use of certain poisoned bait

4. ...

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, in the event of conflict between these Regulations and sections 22(5) and 23(7) of the Wildlife Act 1976 these Regulations prevail.

Editorial Notes:

E156

The Minister may grant a license to permit derogation from compliance with the requirements of this section as provided (4.10.2010) by European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) (Restrictions on Use of Poisoned Bait) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 481 od 2010, reg. 5.

E157

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.10.1980) by Wildlife Act, 1976 (Protection of Bullfinches) Regulations 1980 (S.I. No. 283 of 1980), in effect as per art. 2.

E158

Previous affecting provision: subs. (5)(f) substituted (6.12.1985) by European Communities (Wildlife Act, 1976) (Amendment) Regulations 1985 (S.I. No. 397 of 1985), reg. 3(c), in effect as per reg. 1(2); deleted as per F-note above.