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ARCHIVE: EU birds: What is the wild birds directive?

Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds, also known as the 'Wild Birds Directive', provides a framework for the conservation and management of, and human interactions with, wild birds in Europe.

It sets broad objectives for a wide range of activities designed to protect wild birds, although the precise legal mechanisms for their achievement are at the discretion of each Member State.

In the UK, protection mechanisms are implemented through several different statutes. Further information on the provisions and a full copy of the Directive can be found via:

In the UK, the provisions of the Birds Directive are implemented through the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended), the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (as amended).

Further information on the Act 1981 can be found via:   

Page last modified: 23 October 2008
Page published: 23 October 2008

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