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3 December 2009
Image: Nigel Blake
We receive many enquiries regarding captive barn owls, mostly from people who have seen one in captivity or advertised for sale.
They are understandably concerned that owls are being kept illegally or in cruel conditions. This concern is that much greater because the barn owl is known to have declined in numbers as a wild bird in the UK.
Wild barn owls are given the highest level of legal protection possible under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. Doing or attempting any of the following actions against a wild barn owl is illegal and punishable by a maximum fine, upon conviction, of £5,000:
Despite their decline in the wild, barn owls breed very easily in captivity. There is a large population of legitimate captive birds. More...
We assist the police in the enforcement of wild bird legislation and may wish to act upon any information received regarding offences involving wild barn owls. More...