Wildlife Act 1976 (Protection of Wild Animals) Regulations 2022

Jurisdiction: Republic of Ireland

Commencement: 3rd October 2022

Amends: Wildlife Act 1976

Mini Summary

This Wildlife Act 1976 is the main legislative instrument governing the protection of the natural environment, providing for the conservation of wildlife and to protect certain wild creatures and flora. This Act consists of a wide variety of issues including; the protection of flora, fauna and wild birds, the issuing of licenses, hunting seasons, the prosecution of offences, the manner by which fauna may be hunted and controls on the export and import of wild birds, flora and fauna.


The protected wild animals and birds are listed in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Schedule. It is an offence to hunt, export or sell protected animals and wild birds without a license or permission to do so. The Act also prohibits the use off firearms, snares or traps to capture or hunt protected animals, unless a license or other permission has been granted. Certain time periods throughout the year, known as open seasons allow the hunting of wild birds without a license.

Unless written notice of intention is given of more than seven days, vegetation should not be burnt within one mile of a wood, which is not the property of that person, or on land to which an order or agreement made under the Act relates to.

It is an offence to cut, burn or destroy any vegetation growing on land that has not been cultivated between 15 April and 31 August in any year.


The Basking Shark is now classed as a protected wild animal and is subject to the conditions laid out in section 23 of the Wildlife Act 1976. This makes hunting, injuring, and interfering with the animal and its breeding place an offence.

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