If you suspect an offence has been commited you should contact the police without delay.
The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 contains details of the legislation regarding the protection of wild barn owls and should be refered to in all cases but some of the main points are shown below.
An offence is committed by any person who intentionally:
- kills, injures or takes any wild bird
- takes, damages or destroys the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built
- takes or destroys an egg of any wild bird
An offence is committed by any person who has in his possesion or control
- any live or dead wild bird or any part of, or anything derived from a wild bird
- an egg or any part of an egg of a wild bird
An offence is committed by any person who intentionally or recklessly
- disturbs any wild bird included in Schedule1 while it is building a nest or is in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young
- or disturbs dependent young of such a bird.
The barn owl is listed in Schedule1 and penalties are greater where a Schedule1 bird is involved in any of the offences mentioned. Attempts to commit offences, exceptions, captive birds, warrants and powers of stop and search are also covered – refer to the Act for details.
The Countryside and Rights of Way act 2000 makes a number of significant changes to Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, again the Act should be refered to but some of the main points are that the penalties, powers of arrest and search warrant provisions have been increased.
Commiting an offence in relation to Barn Owls can result in fines up £5000 or imprisonment