Possess, transport, sell or exchange a protected species
It is against the law to possess, transport, sell or exchange live or dead specimens of a European or a UK protected species.
We can grant a licence if you are planning to possess, transport, sell or exchange a protected species.
It is not illegal for you to temporarily possess a disabled protected species to tend it and later release it. This only applies as long as the injury was not caused by your own unlawful act.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 makes it illegal:
- to be in possession of
- to control
- to transport
- to sell or exchange
- to offer for sale or exchange
Any live or dead European protect species which has been taken from the wild.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) makes it illegal to possess:
- any live or dead wild bird
- an egg of a wild bird or any part of an egg
- any live or dead animal listed on Schedule 5
- any live or dead wild plant listed on Schedule 8
There are similar offences relating to the sale, offering or exposing for sale for Schedule 5 animals and Schedule 8 plants.
The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it illegal to possess a dead badger. It is also an offence to be in possession of, or to control a live badger.
We can grant possession licences under:
- The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)
- Protection of Badgers Act 1992
We grant these licences for specific purposes only.
We can grant licences for possession of live or dead specimens for scientific, research or educational purposes. We will only issue a licence if you can show the scientific or educational reason for possessing a specimen.
Apply for a licence to possess, transport, sell or exchange a protect species
If you need a licence to possess, transport, sell or exchange a protect species, you will need to complete one of these application forms.
Possess a protected species application form
Sale or exchange of a protected species application form
There are two general licences covering possession. One is only for full members of the Guild of Taxidermists:
The other is for:
The Deer Act 1991 restricts methods of killing and taking deer. Sale of venison is licensed under the Game Act 1831 and the Game Licences Act 1860. We do not issue licences for killing or taking deer.
International trade is regulated by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora. You can find a list of species covered under the international trade legislation on the species+ website.