Section 49

Prohibition on the introduction and dispersal of certain species

The following is extracted from the main body of the Act as published on the NPWS website and is provided here for information only. Readers should always refer to the original text on http://www.npws.ie/legislationandconventions/irishlaw/euregulations/ should they wish to review or cite this legislation for any purpose.

Section 49 of the act states:

(1) Save in accordance with a licence granted under paragraph (7), any person who breeds, reproduces or releases or allows or causes to disperse or escape from confinement, any animal which—

(a) is not—

(i) ordinarily resident in or is not a regular visitor to the State in a wild state, or
(ii) of a kind that is domesticated or that is in the normal course the subject of human husbandry,

(b) is included in Part 2A of the Third Schedule in any place specified in relation to such animal in the third column of Part 2A of the Third Schedule, or
(c) is included in Part 2B of the Third Schedule in any place specified in relation to such animal in the third column of Part 2B of the Third Schedule,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Save in accordance with a licence granted under paragraph (7), any person who plants, disperses, allows or causes to disperse, spreads or otherwise causes to grow in any place specified in relation to such plant in the third column of Part 1 of the Third Schedule, any plant which is included in Part 1 of the Third
Schedule, shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), it shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under paragraph (1) or (2) to prove that the accused took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

(4) Where the defence provided by paragraph (3) involves an allegation that the commission of the offence was due to the act or default of another person, the person charged shall not, without leave of the court, be entitled to rely on the defence unless, within a period ending 28 days before the hearing, he or she
has served on the prosecutor a notice giving such information identifying or assisting in the identification of the other person as was then in his or her possession.

(5)

(a) In this Regulation, an animal or plant listed in the Third Schedule shall mean such an animal or plant or a hybrid of any such animal or plant or any breed, strain, sport, variety, cultivar or other infraspecific taxon of such plant or animal in relation to the entire State or, where limited for such an animal or plant, the particular areas set forth in the Third Schedule for each such animal or plant.

(b) For the avoidance of doubt, an animal or plant of a species to which the Third Schedule refers shall include specimens of such species under any scientific synonym, vernacular name or trade name by
which it may be referred to.

(6) In this Regulation, “confinement” means a place in which an animal is secure from escaping and from which its eggs, larvae, young, any life stage or resting stage, or any part from which an adult of the animal could develop are secure from being dispersed or escaping.

(7)

(a) One or more persons may make an application for a licence, under this paragraph, for the purposes of complying with the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2).
(b) The Minister may seek from the applicant any information that he or she considers necessary for consideration of the application.
(c) The Minister may grant or refuse to grant, or revoke, such a licence, and shall give reasons for his or her decision and for any conditions imposed under subparagraph (f).
(d) In making a decision under subparagraph (c), the Minister shall take account of the requirements of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive and in particular the requirements of Article 22(b) of the
Habitats Directive, and he or she shall take account of such advice or information as he or she considers appropriate in relation to any animal or plant to which the licence application relates.
(e) The Minister shall grant a licence under this paragraph only if he or she is satisfied that the grant of the licence will not pose a threat to the objectives of the Birds Directive or the Habitats Directive.
(f) A licence granted under this paragraph shall be subject to such conditions, restrictions, limitations or requirements as the Minister considers appropriate.
(g) Any conditions, restrictions, limitations or requirements to which a licence under this paragraph is subject shall be specified in the terms of the licence.
(h) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to anything done under and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted by the Minister under subparagraph (c).

(8) For the purposes of this Regulation, “the State” includes the territorial waters of the State and the exclusive economic zone of the State.

(9) For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister may develop threat response plans under Regulation 39 for the purposes of this Regulation and, generally, for the purposes of addressing the exclusion, eradication or control of species referred to in the Third Schedule and any other species that the Minister considers poses a threat to the habitats or species protected under these Regulations.

(10) Where the Minister considers that a species poses a threat to the objectives of the Birds and Habitats Directives, including the protection of European Sites, of habitats, and of species of flora and fauna, including birds, he or she may authorise the destruction by appropriate means including, where appropriate, by shooting, of any of the animals referred to in paragraph (1)(a), or listed in Part 2 of the Second Schedule.

(11) Where an animal that is of a species referred to in Part 2B of the Third Schedule, or that is a hybrid of such a species, is one of a herd that is being farmed for slaughter for commercial meat production, it shall not be an offence
under this Regulation to transport the animal from one place of enclosure to another for farming purposes or to transport the animal for sale or for slaughter for commercial meat production.
(12) For the purposes of paragraph (11), “slaughter” does not include the killing of an animal during or following hunting.