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UK Wildlife: Animal Biodiversity and Conservation

This section has information on wildlife and biodiversity enforcement laws. Further advice covers the protection of the natural environment in the United Kingdom.

NATURAL ENGLAND: Defra sponsors the executive non-departmental public body called Natural England.

They advise the government on the natural environment for the country. They also help to protect nature and landscapes for people in England to enjoy.

The links of this page refer to advice given by Natural England. They should help you follow the wildlife protection laws of our natural environment.

Laws enforced by Natural England get used to protect wildlife. But, in most cases regulation enforcement is a last resort.

The rules target illegal activities which cause the greatest damage to wildlife. They also relate to its impact on natural landscapes and geology.

Important: Another section explains how several environmental laws affect construction near protected areas and wildlife in Britain and Northern Ireland.

How to Report a Suspected Offence

Animal Poisoning: Abuse of Pesticides

Contact the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme to report a suspected animal poisoning. They also deal with abuse of pesticides.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
Telephone: 0800 321 600

Breach of Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations

Contact EIA to report a suspected breach of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations.

Environmental Impact Assessment Helpline
Telephone: 0800 028 2140

Note: The main section contains more advice and information about environmental issues and management in the United Kingdom.

Keeping Wild Animals or Birds


Regulations for keeping wild animals as pets, including some exotic creatures, fall under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 in the United Kingdom.


No matter whether you are keeping wild birds as a companion at home or in a zoo, they are a species of beauty and intelligence.

Pest Control

Pests On Your Land

Check out a help guide that explains how to control pests on your property. But, total eradication often means getting help from pest control professionals.


You must use humane methods to shoot or get rid of mink using traps. Check safe and effective ways to trap mink during their mating season.


You must use safe and humane methods to remove moles from your land. Check the optimum times to kill ground moles and some simple ways to control mole numbers.

Reporting Injured Animals

Find out how to report a dead or injured animal in the United Kingdom. The information also includes the process for reporting a domestic pet found on the road.

Wildlife Licences

Get a Wildlife Licence

Wildlife licences grant permission for work that affects protected animals and plants. So, the basic wildlife licence allows an activity that would otherwise be illegal.

NIEA Wildlife Licence

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) issue permits for ‘prohibited activity’ in NIR. This guide explains the process for getting a wildlife licence in Northern Ireland.

Protection of Wild Birds

This help guide explains wild birds protection and licensing laws and how to carry out activities that may affect them (e.g. trimming or cutting down bushes, hedges, and trees).

Note: You may need to apply for a licence to keep a wild animal, especially if the local council considers it as being dangerous or exotic (e.g. wild cats, wild boar, dangerous wild birds (e.g. ostriches), wolves, marsupials and primates).

Wildlife Management

Bats Protection Law

You must avoid harming bat species and their roosts because they have international importance. Find out more information on bats protection and licence in the United Kingdom.

Bird Problems

There are some bird species that can be more than a nuisance or noisy. Bird problems also include fouling and property damage. So what are the legal options for dealing with nuisance birds?

Fox Control

You must use humane methods to deter or remove foxes. Check which fox control methods offer safe and effective ways to get rid of foxes from your property.

Fox Problems

Urban and country foxes can cause umpteen problems in neighbourhoods as well as country settings. But, dealing with problems caused by foxes can be annoying at best and a serious health hazard at worst.

Wildlife Management

Some circumstances of managing wildlife on your land require wildlife licences. The help guide lists contact details for the management of wild animals on land in the United Kingdom.

Note: Another section lists the best methods for preventing damage from wild birds (e.g. to farm land or fisheries) and how to get a licence to capture or kill them.

Wildlife and Biodiversity Regulations Guide for United Kingdom