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Contact Details

Natural Resources Division
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

Telephone 0131 244 5450

Fax 0131 244 4071


Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill

Scottish Government's Legislative Programme

On September 3, 2009 the First Minister made a Statement to the Scottish Parliament on the Scottish Government's Legislative Programme, and set out the Scottish Government's intention to bring forward a Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill.


Scotland has a rich and varied natural heritage with a mosaic of landscapes and scenery. Our landscapes and the plants and creatures that make and live in them, are recognised around the world and have underpinned our lives. Maintaining the high quality of our natural environment is vital to the economy of Scotland; it helps to attract tourists and makes a key contribution to the success of many rural businesses. The Scottish Government has an important role in ensuring that the legislative framework which underpins wildlife and natural environment management is fit for purpose.

Introduction of the Bill

The Scottish Government consulted on proposals for a Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill from June to September 2009. Responses to this consultation were analysed and the Bill was introduced on June 9, 2010. The Bill seeks to deliver a range of measures which will update legislation protecting Scottish wildlife and ensure legislation which regulates and manages the natural environment is fit for purpose. The Bill seeks to: modernise game law; abolish the designation 'areas of special protection'; improve snaring practice; regulate invasive non-native species; change the licensing system for protected species; amend current arrangements for deer management and deer stalking; strengthen protection of badgers; change how muirburn can be practised; and make operational changes to the management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The Bill completed stage 3 on 2 March 2011.