A person who hunts a protected wild animal which is not exempted other than under a licence or permission granted is guilty of an offence. A person who hunts an exempted wild animal other than in accordance with the permission or license applicable is guilty of an offence. A person who injures a protected wild animal otherwise than while hunting it is guilty of an offence. The person who wilfully interferes with or destroys the breeding place for resting place of the protected wild animal is guilty of an offence.
The Minister may grant a licence
- to take, capture or humanely kill or capture and humanely kill at any time a protected wild animal of a species specified in the licence for such educational, scientific or any other purpose as shall be specified in the licence, or
- to take or make photographic, video or other pictures of a protected wild animal of a species so specified on or near the breeding place of such an animal, or
- to have in possession, for a reasonable period of time an injured or disabled protected wild animal, or one or more than one dependant young of a protected wild animal which is orphaned, with the intention of tending and later releasing such animal or young back into the wild when and only when such animal or young, as the case may be, is no longer injured, disabled or dependant, or
- to retain possession of a protected wild animal, that for reasons of disability or for other reasons deemed reasonable by the Minister, would, if released, be unlikely to survive unaided in the wild.
It is not an offence for a person
- while engaged in agriculture, fishing or aquaculture, forestry or turbary, unintentionally to injure or kill a protected wild animal, or
- while so engaged to interfere with or destroy the breeding place of such an animal, or
- while constructing a road or while carrying on any archaeological operation, building operation or work of engineering construction, or while constructing or carrying on such other operation or work as may be prescribed, unintentionally to kill or injure such an animal or unintentionally to destroy or injure the breeding place or resting place of such an animal, or
- to capture an injured or disabled protected wild animal F64 , or the orphaned and dependant young of such an animal, for the purpose of killing it humanely or with the intention of tending it and of later releasing it F64 when, but only when, the said animal or its dependant young, as the case may be, are no longer disabled or dependant or
- to kill humanely a protected wild animal which is either injured in the manner described above or captured in the manner described, or so to kill a protected wild animal injured in the circumstances described and where the animal is so injured or disabled that there is no reasonable chance of its recovering,
The above does not make unlawful,
- the taking and killing of hares by coursing at a regulated coursing match which is held both during a period specified as regards hares in a hares order and in a place to which such order applies,
- the hunting of hares by means of a pack of beagles or harriers both during a period specified as regards hares in a hares order and in a place to which the order applies,
- anything which the Whale Fisheries Act, 1937, permits to be done, or
- anything which is duly done pursuant to a licence or other permission granted or issued pursuant to the Wildlife Acts, 1976 and 2000 ,
- or which is duly done pursuant to any other statute or statutory instrument, which is permitted to be done under such a statute or instrument or which is done pursuant to and in accordance with a licence or other permission granted or issued pursuant to such a statute or instrument or anything caused by or which results from, or is consequent upon or the effect of any other act or thing which is lawfully done.
It is a defence to prove that capturing or killing concerned was urgently necessary for the purpose of stopping damage under the circumstances mentioned below where it was not practical to apply for a licence beforehand and the person reasonably believed that the damage was being caused by the protected wild animal concerned.
A person who hunts deer with two or more dogs is guilty of an offence unless a licence or permission to do so has been granted and applies
The Minister may specify seasons for certain protected wild birds which are of the species specified in the order. In this period they may be hunted either through state or on the part of the state specified by the order.
The order may apply conditions and make different provisions for different species of wild bird. This may include limiting the total number of any such species which during the period concerned may be killed.
The Minister may by order provide that wild mammals being protected wild animals of the species specified may be hunted in the manner specified throughout the State or in part of the State. The order may contain conditions and make different provisions for different species and in different places. It may provide a number of days during which hunting is permitted and provide for the conditions on which it may be undertaken.
The Minister may grant to the master or the person having charge of the pack of beagles or harriers a licence to hunt hares in any district specified in the licence on such days as are specified. The Minister may on application coursing club grant a licence to hold on such day specified regulated coursing matches.
The Minister may suspend the open season temporarily where satisfied because of the severity of weather conditions in the State or elsewhere or for other reasons specified is desirable in the interest of conserving fauna so to do.
A person shall not with firearms hunt kill on any land an exempted wild mammal or protected wild bird of the species specified in an open season order unless it is hunted or killed pursuant to a licence granted or deemed to have been granted and the person is a qualified person in relation to the land concerned.
A qualified person is over 18 years of age and
- is entitled to sporting rights over the land or
- as a guest invitees employee or agent with authority of the person having the sporting rights or
- is a member of the body which is entitled to sporting rights over the land which has such authority or
- as a person but are specified by ministerial regulations for that purpose.
A person applying for a licence may be required to show evidence that he is a competent person to hold such a licence. This includes the ability to identify species of fauna and knowledge of the wildlife legislation. Contravention of the provision is an offence.
The Minister may on application grant a licence to hunt and kill with firearms on such conditions as may be specified exempt wild animals other than hares. In considering licence applications the Minister is to have regard to the conservation requirements of the species of protected wild birds or exempted wild mammals concerned. The application must be bone fide and there must be no good reason to refuse the licence.
Persons resident in an EU member state who hold a European firearms licence duly issued and persons issued with licences by an appropriate authority outside the State may be presumed suitable for grant or renewal of license. The license continues on 31 July following. It operates to authorise the holder of the licence to hunt and kill with firearms in the places to which it relates.
Where a person applies to a superintendent of An Garda Siochana for the grant of a firearm certificate or renewal and makes a declaration under the provision the certificate is endorsed in the manner specified and is deemed to be a licence granted by the Minister under the legislation subject to the conditions.
An authorised person to whom the licence is granted may use the firearm to which it relates to hunt and kill a protected wild bird during the open season subject to the conditions applicable to such season and to hunt and kill any hare.
These provisions apply to a firearm certificate in respect of a shotgun, There is an endorsement on the firearm certificate.
Licence may be granted to a person resident outside the state under the Firearm Certificates for Non-residents Act 2000.
A person aggrieved by the refusal to grant a licence may appeal to the District Court.
The Minister may make regulations declaring that other licences, permits and permissions are deemed to have the same legal effect as a licence under Conventions and protocols entered with other states and territories.
The holder of a licence may be required if notified in writing to give information regarding the number and species of protected wild birds and wild animals shot and taken during the period specified in the State of any part of the State. Regulations may be made requiring the holder of the licence to tag or otherwise mark in a manner and at times specified the animal or bird captured or killed under such licence or certificate. The failure to do so is an offence.
A person shall not without consent given by the Minister or Department hunt protected wild animals and wild birds on or over foreshore belonging to the State or State lands covered by inland waters or lakeshore accretions.
It is an offence for a person to hunt or injure in the course of hunting any wild bird with a repeating or automatic shotgun (other than one with less than four shotgun cartridges) with an airgun, air rifle gas rifle, pistol, revolver or any firearm fitted with a silencer device. It is an offence for a person to kill or injure any protected wild bird in the course of hunting with a rifle.
It is an offence for a person to hunt or injure any wild bird or wild animal with a spring gun, or with tracer shot or with any explosive other than ammunition for, and used with, a firearm.
It is an offence for a person to hunt or injure in the course of hunting with a shotgun a protected wild animal other than a hare otherwise than under and in accordance with a licence granted in that behalf by the Minister.
The Minister may make regulations specifying the type and calibre of firearms and ammunition which may be used to hunt wild birds and wild animals and providing that firearms and ammunition of any other type and calibre shall not be used to hunt such birds or animals .
A rifle” includes both a gas-rifle and an air-rifle.
A person shall not hunt any wild bird, wild mammal or protected wild animal by means of a trap, snare, net, line, hook, arrow, dart, spear or similar device however propelled, instrument or missile, or birdlime or any substance of a like nature, or any poisonous, poisoned or stupefying bait, any gas or smoke or chemical wetting agent or any electrical device which is calculated or likely to cause death, unconsciousness or bodily injury to such bird, mammal or animal, or
A person shall not
- use, for the purpose of hunting, repelling or scaring any wild bird or any wild animal any live wild bird or live wild animal which is tethered or secured by braces or other similar appliance or which is confined in a cage or pen or which is blind, maimed or injured, or any kite, light trap, balloon, aircraft (including model aircraft) or similar device,
- use, as a decoy for the purpose of hunting any wild bird or any wild animal, any live wild animal or live bird, or,
- use a stuffed or artificial decoy in the form of any bird for the purpose of hunting any protected wild birds, other than F100 wood pigeons, wild duck and wild geese, or
use an electrical or other instrument or appliance (including recording apparatus) emitting sound,
for the purpose of hunting any wild bird or any wild animal.
The above does not apply to the use of a whistle, similar instrument or appliance imitating or emitting a call similar to the calls of clover wild duck or wild geese operated manually or orally for the purpose of hunting those wild birds.
The Minister may by order prohibit throughout the State or in any area use for hunting, repelling or scaring any wild bird or any wild animal of a species specified in the order of
- any stuffed or artificial decoy or any device, whistle, instrument or appliance which is of a particular type, class or description specified in the order, or,
- the use any orally or manually operated whistle or other instrument or appliance (not being recording apparatus) which imitates, or emits calls similar to, the calls of plover, wild duck or wild geese or emits recorded such calls.
- decoy, vehicle or an instrument or appliance, including electrical or other recording apparatus emitting sound for the purpose of repelling, scaring or capturing any wild bird or any wild animal, may be used, pursuant to and in accordance with a licence granted in that behalf by the Minister, for scientific research or for another purpose approved of by the Minister.
Falconry carried out in accordance with a licence for the taking or killing a useful wild animal it is not protected animal for the purpose of fishing is not prohibited under the provision.
A person may be licensed to use as a decoy live wild animals of species specified which is confined to a cage or pen. Conditions apply including those relating to the welfare of the animal concerned.
A person may not hunt or disturb for the purpose of hunting any wild animals by a mechanically propelled vehicle vessel or aircraft whether it is being propelled or stationary. Aa person shall not hunt or disturb for the purpose of hunting any wild bird by means of a vehicle vessel or aircraft while it is being so propelled. A licence may be granted for such educational and scientific purposes as may be specified therein for the capture of wild birds or wild animals involving use of such vehicles.
A person shall not hunt any woodcock between sunset and sunrise. A person shall not hunt any other protected (wild bird other than a wild duck or wild goose) or any protected wild animal during any period beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunset. Licences may be granted which modify the position.
Any person who uses —
- any lamp, light, torch, mirror or other artificial light-reflecting or dazzling device or appliance,
- any device for illuminating, image intensifying or heat seekin a target, or
- any sighting device for night shooting, or
- any device or appliance which is of a type, class or description specified in an order made
in hunting any protected wild bird or protected wild animal is guilty of an offence.
This does not apply to —
- attaching thereto any band, ring, tag or other marking device, or
- hunting for educational or scientific purposes or for any other purpose,
- pursuant to and in accordance with a licence granted under this Act by the Minister, shall be guilty of an offence.