Invasive Non-Native Species
New Legislation on Non-Native Species Comes Into Force
Non-native species legislation is contained in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011. The new legislation came into force on 2nd July 2012 and it makes it an offence to:
- release an animal, or allow it to escape, outwith its native range
- plant a plant in the wild outwith its native range
- intentionally or otherwise plant a plant in the wild or cause an animal to be outwith its native range
The Scottish Government has produced a Code of Practice on Non-Native Species to help people understand their responsibilities when dealing with non-native species and to understand which public body has responsibility for which habitats.
Failure to comply with the Code is not itself an offence. However, whether or not a person has complied with the Code could be used in court as evidence, by either the prosecution or the defence, in the event of criminal proceedings.