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The Law Commission announced its 11th Programme of work on 19 July 2011. This includes a project to look at how wildlife management legislation can be reformed.
The law in this area is outdated, complex and as a result encourages poor compliance. This means it is not as effective as it could be at delivering our objectives for biodiversity.
The Law Commission have been tasked with putting together a modern, consistent and simple to understand regulatory framework. The intention is that the number of statutes will be vastly reduced and that the framework will have flexibility to deal with changing priorities. The ultimate benefits of such reform will be much better alignment with our policy objectives, greater compliance and hopefully less administrative burden.
Its focus is not on raising or lowering levels of protection for individual species which are primarily set out in secondary legislation but is more concerned with the legislative framework that sits above this. It is not always clear what levels of protection apply to individual species - by reforming the legislative framework we are seeking to improve clarity and consistency.
A more modern, easy to understand and consistent framework will benefit all those with an interest in wildlife management including conservation bodies, those who exploit wildlife for leisure or economic gain, as well as those whose activities come into conflict with wildlife such as housing developers.
The Law Commission is now consulting on provisional proposals, with consultation ending 30 November 2012. The Law Commission wildlife team can be reached on email@example.com.
Consultation papers and how to respond
- Wildlife law consultation (Law Commission website)