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< > LUK18 - Conservation of Seals Act 1970

General Information

The information provided within these pages provides a background to the legislation issues.
THE FULL RECENT OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS SHOULD ALWAYS BE CONSULTED FOR DETAILED INFORMATION.

Date 1970
Wildpro "Organisations & Website" Reference
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Text Availability (e.g. HMSO / Copyright / Public Domain etc.) HMSO: Crown Copyright. The authoritative versions of Acts are usually the "Queen's Printer" copies (often published by The Stationery Office Limited). Details of how to obtain the authoritative versions are available through Website Ref - W65 - Her Majesty's Stationary Office (HMSO)
Brief Overview / Significance
  • This Act provides separate close seasons for both species during their pupping periods: 1st September to 31st December for Grey seals in England, Wales and Scotland; 1st June to 31st December for common seals in England and Wales, 1st September to 31 December in Scotland.
  • Restrictions are placed on the use of firearms.
  • There is a prohibition against the use of poison for killing or taking a seal.
  • Various Orders have been made under the Act providing more extensive protection.
  • There are exemptions for unavoidable actions.
  • In limited circumstances it is permitted to kill a seal for the purpose of preventing it from causing damage to fishing nets or fishing tackle, even within the close season.
  • Licences are required to "take" seals during the close season for the purposes of scientific research, which would include marking. Licences are applied for from: Secretary of State (Home Office in England & Wales, Secretary of State for Scotland)
  • Section 9.1(a) allows disabled seals to be "taken" at any time for the purposes of tending and release, without a licence. 
  • Section 9.2 permits the killing of a seriously disabled seal with no reasonable chance of recovery (despite restrictions set out in section 1 of the act).

(B142.4.w4, J35.147.w1, W65)

NOTES - Amendments / Relation to other legislation
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Specific Section References

Wildpro Reference Chapter/Paragraph Title Content Page nos.
LUK18.w1 The Conservation of Seals (England) Order 1999 The following text of the Order is taken from HMSO website and is Crown Copyright 1996. This text is subject to Crown Copyright protection and reproduced under the terms of Crown Copyright Policy Guidance issued by HMSO:

Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 3052
SEA FISHERIES, ENGLAND
The Conservation of Seals (England) Order 1999


Made 11th November 1999

Laid before Parliament 22nd November 1999

Coming into force 19th December 1999

Whereas it appears to the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Natural Environment Research Council, that it is necessary to make an order under section 3(1) of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970[1] for the proper conservation of seals;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by that provision, he hereby makes the following Order:

1. - (1) This Order may be cited as the Conservation of Seals (England) Order 1999 and shall come into force on 19th December 1999.

(2) This Order does not extend to Scotland.

2. There is prohibited, within the territorial limits set out in article 3, the killing, injuring or taking of seals of the species known as Halichoerus grypus (grey seals) and Phoca vitulina (common seals).

3. For the purposes of article 2, the territorial limits of this Order are -

(a) the counties of Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hartlepool, Kent, Kingston-upon-Hull, Lincolnshire, the Medway Towns, Middlesbrough, Norfolk, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, Southend-on-Sea, Stockton-on-Tees, Suffolk, Thurrock, Tyne and Wear and the administrative area of Greater London; and

(b) those territorial waters adjacent to England which are -

(i) to the south of a line drawn at 055 true from the point on the mainland at 55 48 .67 North latitude and 02 02 .0 West longitude; and

(ii) adjacent to any of the counties specified in paragraph (a) and, in the case of East Sussex, not further west than a line drawn true south from Newhaven Breakwater Head Light which is at 50 46 .5 North latitude and 00 03 .6 East longitude.

Mike O'Brien

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Home Office

11th November 1999


EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

This Order prohibits with effect from 19th December 1999 the killing, injuring or taking of grey seals and common seals in the counties of England bordering the North Sea set out in article 3(a) of the Order and the adjacent territorial waters. The Conservation of Seals (England) Order 1996 (S.I. 1996/2905) ceases to have effect on that date. Any person who acts in contravention of this Order is guilty of an offence under section 3(2) of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970.

Notes: 

[1] 1970 c. 30.

ISBN 0 11 085511 6

 
LUK18.w2 The Conservation of Seals (Common Seals) (Shetland Islands Area) Order 1991

The following text of the Order is taken from HMSO website and is Crown Copyright 1996. This text is subject to Crown Copyright protection and reproduced under the terms of Crown Copyright Policy Guidance issued by HMSO:

Statutory Instrument 1991 No. 2638 (S.206)

SEA FISHERIES

The Conservation of Seals (Common Seals) (Shetland Islands Area) Order 1991

Made 21st November 1991

Laid before Parliament 28th November 1991

Coming into force 19th December 1991

 Whereas having consulted with the Natural Environment Research Council under section 3(1) of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970[1] it appears to the Secretary of State necessary for the proper conservation of seals to make this Order;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections 3(1) and 14(2) of the said Act of 1970 and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, the Secretary of State hereby makes the following Order:

 1. This Order may be cited as the Conservation of Seals (Common Seals) (Shetland Islands Area) Order 1991 and shall come into force on 19th December 1991.

 2. Any person is hereby prohibited from killing, injuring or taking of seals of the species known as Phoca vitulina (common seals), in the Shetland Islands Area and within the seaward limits of the territorial waters adjacent thereto.

 3. The Conservation of Seals (Common seals) (Shetland Islands Area) Order 1990[2] is hereby revoked.



Strathclyde

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Scottish Office
St. Andrew's House, Edinburgh

21st November 1991

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

    Section 2(1) of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 (c. 30) prescribes the annual close season for common seals extending from 1st June to 31st August both inclusive during which it is an offence for any person wilfully to kill, injure or take common seals. The Conservation of Seals (Common Seals) Order 1988 (S.I. 1990/2337) prohibited during the period 19th December 1988 until December 1990 the killing, injuring or taking of common seals in Great Britain and adjacent territorial waters. The Conservation of Seals (Common Seals) (Shetland Islands Area) Order 1990 (S.I. 1990/2337) prohibited during the period 19th December 1990 to 18th December 1991 the killing, injuring or taking of common seals only in the Shetland Islands Area and territorial waters adjacent thereto.

    This Order reimposes for an indefinite period from 19th December 1991 the all year prohibition in the Shetland Islands Area and territorial waters adjacent thereto. This Order revokes the Conservation of Seals (Common Seals) (Shetland Islands Area) Order 1990.


ISBN 0 11 015978 0

Notes:
[1] 1970 c. 30.

[2] S.I. 1990/2337

 

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Text from the Act

 

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