Wildlife Crime Ireland aims:

  • Basic information on wildlife crime
  • PAW Ireland involvement
  • Advice on Recognising & Recording a wildlife crime
  • Contact details for Reporting a wildlife crime

What is Wildlife Crime?

Wildlife crime is any act that contravenes current legislation governing the protection of wild animals and plants.

Any person who hunts kills, takes, or is in possession of a protected wild animal, wild bird or a specimen of protected wild flora otherwise than under and in accordance with a licence shall be guilty of an offence.


Restrictions on Cutting Hedgerows

Under the terms of the Wildlife Act, roadside hedge-cutting to destroy vegetation is NOT permitted on uncultivated land between the 1st of March and the 31st of August each year. 

It prohibits;

  • Cutting
  • Grubbing (Grubbing or clearing denotes the removal of trees, shrubs, stumps)
  • Burning
  • Destruction of vegetation

The law aims to protect and maintain wildlife diversity by establishing areas where birds, in particular, can thrive during nesting season.

There are exceptions to the legislation such as works undertaken in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry, for public health and safety reasons – including road safety – the destruction of noxious weeds and the development of sites for building works.


Recent Prosecutions

Three Month Suspended Jail Sentence for the Possession of two dead Buzzards

A County Laois man has been given a three month suspended prison sentence for the possession of two dead Buzzards, which were found strung up on his land. “On Friday the 15th of October, at Portlaoise District Court, Mr Desmond Crawford, Roskelton, Mountrath, Co. Laois pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of two dead Buzzards contrary to Section 45 (2) & 45 (7) of the Wildlife Acts.

The offence took place on the 19th of April 2020 at Clonadacasey, Mountrath, Co. Laois. The offence was investigated by the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage. It was prosecuted under the Wildlife Acts by Rory Hanniffy BL, instructed by Sandra Mahon, State Solicitor for County Offaly.”

The judge described Crawford’s actions as “an example of a disgusting lack of respect in an outrageous act of wildlife crime”.



Who is PAW Ireland?

PAW Ireland brings together statutory agencies, non-statutory agencies and interested parties with the common goal of combating wildlife crime through publicity, education and campaigning.

PAW Ireland objectives – to;

  • Raise awareness of wildlife legislation and the impacts of wildlife crime;
  • Provide a forum to facilitate the exchange of information & expertise on wildlife enforcement;
  • Help and advise on wildlife crime and regulatory issues;
  • Raise the profile of wildlife crime within the judiciary & statutory agencies;
  • Promote the use of forensic technologies to combat wildlife crime;
  • Make sure wildlife crime is tackled effectively


Find out more about PAW

PAW Ireland