Consultation outcome

Possession of wild bird eggs: changing the defence you can use

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

We received 34 responses to this consultation.

Defra and the Welsh Government have carefully considered the responses to this consultation, and intend to re-instate the Pre-1981 defence.

Original consultation


Defra and the Welsh ministers are seeking views on changing the defence that can be used for the offence of possessing wild bird eggs.

This consultation was held on another website.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We want to know what you think about changes to the defence that can be used for possessing and taking wild birds’ eggs.

Possessing and taking wild birds’ eggs is an offence. It used to be the case that if a person can show that the egg(s) in their possession had been taken before 1981, they could use this in their defence.

An amendment to the Wildlife and Countryside Act in 2004 meant that an individual would now have to show that any egg(s) in their possession had been taken before 1954. This change was not consulted on. We are now rectifying this by seeking views on whether to revert back to the “Pre – 1981 Defence or maintain the “Pre-1954 Defence.

Published 14 October 2014
Last updated 25 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Summary of responses added.
  2. First published.