The Deer Act 1991 (as amended) protects all wild deer from poaching, and Schedule 1 species during the close season. Taking or killing deer at night, or using certain methods, is against the law. We can grant licences for specific purposes
Any survey work you had planned as part of a species licence application should only be undertaken where absolutely necessary following the latest social distancing guidelines from the government.
- Check the latest guidance provided by environmental businesses such as the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the RSPB or the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
- As it may not be possible to update your surveys this season, this year we will extend this and accept surveys from the last three years.
- You should complete your survey at the first available and appropriate opportunity once restrictions are lifted.
If you have further question you can contact our species team via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deer are protected under their own piece of legislation, the Deer Act 1991 (as amended), known as ‘the Act’. This page cannot cover all aspects of the law or deer ecology, but provides a brief introduction.
Under the Act, the following actions are against the law:
- Killing / taking / injuring a deer without the consent of the landowner / occupier
- Taking / killing any Schedule 1 species during the close season,
- Taking / killing any deer at night
- Use of a trap, snare, poisoned or stupefying bait, or any net to kill / take deer
- Use of any firearm / ammunition mentioned in Schedule 2, or arrow, spear etc
- Use of any missile carrying poison, stupefying drug or muscle-relaxing agent
- Use of mechanically propelled vehicle to discharge any firearm or drive deer
It is not illegal to kill or take a deer for the purpose of preventing suffering of an injured or diseased deer.
Schedule 1 of the Deer Act lists the following species: red, fallow, roe and sika deer. For the full version of the Act, refer to the link on this page.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) can grant licences for specific purposes under the legislation. Licences allow activities that would otherwise be illegal. Under Section 8(2) of the Act, NRW can grant licences to take deer for the purposes of removing deer from one area to another, or of taking deer alive for scientific or educational purposes.
NRW would consult with Welsh Government over any applications to move deer from one area to another, as there would be potential implications for the spread of disease.
The Wales deer strategy ‘Wild Deer Management in Wales’ sets out a framework towards achieving sustainable management of deer in Wales. For more information on the management of deer, refer to the link on this page.
Game dealers are licensed under the Game Act 1831 and the Game Licences Act 1860. These licences are not issued by NRW.