Wildlife Act 1976
Sale, purchase and possession of certain perching birds prohibited.
31.— (1) It shall be an offence for any person to sell, purchase or have in his possession a live perching bird to which this section applies other than a close-ringed specimen bred in captivity F80 [ ; but nothing in this subsection shall make unlawful the possession consequent upon the capture of any such bird pursuant to and in accordance with a licence or permission granted under this Act ].
(2) This section applies to any live perching bird (order Passeriformes) of a species which occurs in a wild state in the State, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and which is not a species specified in the Third Schedule to this Act.
(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for the defendant to prove that—
( a) he lawfully acquired the relevant perching bird before the commencement of this section, or
( b) he lawfully acquired such bird from a person who so acquired it before such commencement.
(4) In this section “ close-ringed specimen” means a specimen of live perching bird (order Passeriformes) fitted with a continuous metal band or ring which has been slipped over its foot and on to its leg F81 [ not later than 10 days after it has been hatched. ]