Vicarious Liability and Changes to Hare Season and Deer Act

As fellow farmers, gamekeepers and landowners, we were startled to find that some people moving in the same circles were still blissfully unaware of the recent important changes to the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011. We’ve put together the details below to give you a starting point if you yourself were unaware of changes or would like some insight on the law of Vicarious Liability.

What is Vicarious Liability?

Vicarious liability is a newly introduced law to protect wildlife by ensuring landowners and managers take appropriate actions to ensure that they, their employees and contractors act within the law. An important note is that businesses must take every step to ensure they act within the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act. Landowners who do not could face criminal prosecution for the actions of their employees, contractors or indeed anyone else operating on their land. There are also several changes involving newly introduced close seasons for Hare and Deer.

Protection of Brown and Mountain Hares

In an attempt to provide protection for hares during times when they are likely to have dependent young, close seasons have been introduced for brown hares (01 February – 30 September) and mountain hares (01 March – 31 July).

Amendments to the Deer Act

The main changes to the deer act are made in relation to deer management and the law is clarified on despatching of suffering or injured deer. New close seasons for deer are:

Deer Type

Buck Close Season

Roe Close Season

Fallow Deer

1st May – 31st July

16th February – 20th October

Red Deer

21st October – 30th June

16th February – 20th October

Red/Sika deer hybrid

21st October – 30th June

16th February – 20th October

Roe Deer

21st October – 31st March

1st April – 20th October

Sika deer

21st October – 30th June

16th February – 20th October.

Snare Laws Get Tighter

Newly introduced snaring laws include the duty to inspect, record keep, seek authorisation from land owners, tagging all snares with ID codes and attending a compulsory training course. While the ID tagging is not likely to come into effect in 2012, it’s advised that you get organised and attend a training course, on completion of said training course you will be given an ID number.

Before you stock up on the latest shooting clothing or stalking gear, take note as these amendments concern and should be of interest to you if you own or work within a shooting business or simply own or control land. Download and read more about the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 to ensure your compliance.

Have Your Say

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