The Countryside and Wildlife Act was passed in 1981 by the Westminster Parliament. Amongst other things, this made it illegal to release into the wild in the United Kingdom any non-indigenous animal.
The Act is now out of date and is due to be reviewed by the Scottish Parliament. In December 2000, in reference to poisoning of Golden Eagles, a leader in the Herald, stated:
It is true that there are too many examples of political correctness burdening rural life at the moment, but combating the killing of birds of prey is not one of them. There is an urgent need for greater legal protection for these beautiful creatures, but there is little sign of it appearing from the Scottish Executive. True, the former environment minister announced in June the intention to publish a policy statement on wildlife law reform, and Sam Galbraith, who has taken over that post, has confirmed the intention. But the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is now out of date in reference to these abuses and to the pernicious activities of egg takers. Wild birds and birds of prey need protection from the ignorant and the malevolent. Those who ignore their special claims deserve a spell in jail.
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