Wildlife and the Law: New edition available from 12 June 2019.

When I had the first edition of Wildlife and the Law published in 2012 I didn’t expect that all 500 copies printed would be sold. Nevertheless that was the case, so in early 2019 I was keen to update the book to incorporate new legislation since 2012 and partly renew the photographs.

As they did with the first edition, PAW Scotland kindly agreed to help to fund publication, since this remains the only book in Scotland looking at the practical application of wildlife law. PAW Scotland’s agreement meant that I could get to work on the new edition. Unfortunately this blog suffered with an absence of new posts since, as well as updating Wildlife and the Law I was – and still am – carrying out a wildlife survey of a large estate in Perthshire as well as writing chapters and taking photographs for a book on my regular and exciting walks on the estate (this should be published in the autumn.)

The new edition of Wildlife and the Law, recognising, reporting and investigating wildlife crime in Scotland, is edited and published by Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. Due to PAW Scotland subsidising the cost, the price remains at £10. It is due back from the Glasgow printer on 12th June. Additional features in the book include:

  • The role of the NWCU
  • The many changes in general licences
  • The limitation on traps allowed to be used to trap stoats
  • Suspicious disappearance of satellite-tagged raptors
  • The Werritty review
  • Inclusion of the beaver on the Habitats Regulations
  • The updated COTES regulations
  • The Ivory Act 2018
  • Updated tail docking legislation
  • Improved forensic capability
  • Comment on possible future wildlife legislative change

Wildlife & the Law is designed in part to help prevent wildlife offences being committed, though where prevention has failed the well-indexed contents should help the reader recognise the offence and respond appropriately. It spells out chapter and verse in an easy-to-follow text and numerous colour photographs. As well as covering wildlife law, the book includes separate chapters on cruelty to domestic and captive animals, a brief chapter on offences relating to dogs, and one on offences committed against Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

As the sales of the first edition demonstrated, Wildlife & the Law is of interest to a range of people, including:

  • Police officers, and the staff of other organisations who have some responsibility for the investigation of wildlife crime;
  • Countryside rangers, foresters, badger groups, bat groups, raptor groups and others with a professional interest in wildlife issues;
  • Landowners, gamekeepers, farmers and pest controllers, who might use traps and snares or control ‘pest’ species in the course of their work;
  • Hill walkers, and others who take advantage of the countryside for recreation;
  • Property owners, developers or even householders who might have concerns with nesting birds, bat roosts or badger setts.

Comments on the first edition Wildlife are:

‘Whether used as a quick reference or to understand wildlife crime’s complex legislation, this book is a real aid for any wildlife or rural officer.’                                                                PC Charles Everitt, investigations support officer, UK National Wildlife Crime Unit 

‘A great asset not just for those who are following-up potential wildlife crime incidents, but also for any countryside user who wants a better understanding of the laws protecting our fantastic wildlife.’                                                                                                                                Ian Thomson, senior investigations officer, RSPB Scotland.

‘No stone is left unturned as the wildlife crime detective par excellence deploys his great breadth and depth of specialist knowledge.’                                                                      Professor Des Thompson, Scottish Natural Heritage

Though the book primarily covers wildlife law as it applies in Scotland, much of the law in the rest of the UK is similar, as is the practical application of the law for enforcement purposes. Hopefully therefore the book will be of benefit beyond Scotland.

Please note that this book, at least in the meantime, is not available in shops, but signed copies can be obtained from:

Alan Stewart – wildlifedetective@gmail.com  or 01738 840769. This book retails at £10 but for £15, which includes p&p, you can have a signed copy of Wildlife and the Law PLUS any other one of my books. See ‘My Books’, let me know your choice and I’ll get them in the post.

Copies of Wildlife and the Law can also be obtained from

Sean Bradley – thirstybooks@hotmail.com  or 07598 323440

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