Policy & Lobbying
Wildlife & Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011

The Wildlife & Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 ( the "WANE Act") was one of the most substantial pieces of legislation affecting land management interests to be passed by the Scottish Parliament. Scottish Land & Estates took an early interest in this legislation and worked closely with other land management bodies and government at all stages from pre-consultation to the passage of the Bill through the Scottish Parliament. Such early and collaborative intervention in the parliamentary process resulted in some more damaging aspects of legislation being averted and others being amended to take land management and sporting interests into account.

The Act amended a number of other pieces of legislation including the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996. The Act modernises game laws, introduces new wildlife offences (including vicarious liability), abolishes the designation of 'areas of special protection', adds further regulation of snaring practice, creates a new regime for regulating invasive and non-native species, makes changes to the licensing system for protected species, amends current arrangements for deer management and deer stalking, strengthens protection of badgers, changes how moor burn can be practised and makes operational changes to the management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

More information is available in our Information Sheets and in the legislation section of the Scottish Government website. There is also a Code of Practice on Deer Management. A further Code of Practice on Non-Native Species is being produced by the Scottish Government.

The WANE Act introduced a new vicarious liability offence for certain wildlife crimes whereby a shooting land owner or manager may be liable for the crimes committed by an employee, agent or contractor under their management or control. The new offence came into force on 1 January 2012. Scottish Land & Estates has produced a Due Diligence Good Practice Guide to help members understand the new offence and to take necessary measures to prevent the relevant offences taking place.


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