As from 21 August this year, European Protected Species are getting extra protection in England. It would be nice to say this is because of enthusiasm on the part of the government to further conserve these species, but actually it’s in response to a judgement in the European Court of Justice requiring UK legislation to more closely follow the EU Habitats Directive. Still, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. Here’s Naturenet’s updated page on European Protected Species, including a list of all the species concerned.
A parallel new legislative package has already been introduced in Scotland, and one unexpected consequence, that the BBC wittily points out, springs from the new requirement that anyone who wishes to possess specimens of a protected species must have a genuine reason for doing so, and will have to demonstrate this is compatible with the Regulations. Such ‘specimens’ could include sporrans made from otter or badger skin – although badgers are not European Protected Species the Scots have given them extra protection as well. So Scotsmen face the prospect of needing a sporran licence! EDIT: The Scottish Sporrans website says this is not entirely true. They say:
A quote which is being given out by the Scottish Executive in regards this matter is as follows: “New legislation, introduced on the 15th February 2007, has made it a legal requirement to have a licence to possess live or dead specimens / derivatives of any wild animal listed on AnnexIV(a) of the Habitats Directive, such as Eurasian Otter, Wildcat or Bat, NOT as was erroneously reported in the newspapers to Eurasian Badger, Common Seal, Grey Seal, Deer, Hedgehogs and Moles. The law in relation to these species has not changed at all.”