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Old 9th August 2007   #1
Caleb Leeke
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Default New UK legislation regarding WC European animals

Following European Courts of Justice judgements against the UK, ruling that the UK interpretation of the Habitats & Species directive was incorrect, a new law is being introduced as of 21st August 2007.

It's known that WC animals of some Annex IV species (e.g. T. marmoratus) have been imported into the UK from Europe in recent years, and they have become fully legal once in the UK. This law changes that- anyone keeping these animals will now have to apply for a licence. This makes UK law closer to that in the rest of Europe.

The law is The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No. 1843) ( ), and relates to amphibian keeping as I've summarised below.


This makes it a criminal offence to possess or trade in wild-caught animals of the species listed in Annex IV of the EC Habitats & Species Directive. Penalties are up to 6 months in prison and/or a fine of up to 5000.

Specimens 'lawfully taken from the wild' are exempt from this offence. This applies to specimens taken outside the EC, taken before the Habitat & Species Directive came into effect on 10 June 1994, or taken from a member state before it became an EC member state. They must also have been taken legally according to the law of the state concerned.

I am unsure if F1 CB animals are covered by this, as the offence applies to 'anything derived from such an animal'- it could be argued that this applies to F1 offspring. F2+ animals are exempt by definition.

For both these exemptions, the onus is on the person accused of an offence to prove that their animals were 'lawfully taken' or captive bred.

Anyone currently keeping animals covered by these regulations will have to apply to Natural England for a licence to continue keeping them. DEFRA have stated that there will be a three month grace period after the regulations come into force, to give people time to apply for licences.

The amphibian species concerned are (from the latest amendment of Annex IV, at )

Chioglossa lusitanica
Euproctus asper
Euproctus montanus
Euproctus platycephalus
Mertensiella luschani (Salamandra luschani)
Salamandra atra
Salamandra aurorae
Salamandra lanzai
Salamandrina terdigitata
Triturus carnifex (Triturus cristatus carnifex)
Triturus cristatus (Triturus cristatus cristatus)
Triturus italicus
Triturus karelinii (Triturus cristatus karelinii)
Triturus marmoratus
Triturus montandoni
Triturus vulgaris ampelensis
Proteus anguinus
Hydromantes (Speleomantes) ambrosii
Hydromantes (Speleomantes) flavus
Hydromantes (Speleomantes) genei
Hydromantes (Speleomantes) imperialis
Hydromantes (Speleomantes) strinatii (Hydromantes (Speleomantes) italicus)
Hydromantes (Speleomantes) supramontes

Alytes cisternasii
Alytes muletensis
Alytes obstetricans
Bombina bombina
Bombina variegata
Discoglossus galganoi (including Discoglossus "jeanneae")
Discoglossus montalentii
Discoglossus pictus
Discoglossus sardus
Rana arvalis
Rana dalmatina
Rana graeca
Rana iberica
Rana italica
Rana latastei
Rana lessonae
Pelobates cultripes
Pelobates fuscus
Pelobates syriacus
Bufo calamita
Bufo viridis
Hyla arborea
Hyla meridionalis
Hyla sarda


I suspect the listing of T. marmoratus may include T. pygmaeus, as the two were considered the same species at the time of listing.

T. dobrogicus is not listed, despite being an Annex II species (which requires member states to designate 'Special Areas of Conservation' for the species).
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