Recommendations for species control orders implemented in the Infrastructure Act 2015

Over the last decade, wildlife protection and the sustainable management of our natural heritage have become increasingly regarded as key policy aims for Government. However, the legal framework for wildlife management is overly complicated, frequently contradictory and unduly prescriptive. Consequently, the law creates unnecessary barriers to effective wildlife management, including the efficient implementation and enforcement of Government policy.

On 11 February 2014, we published our report, Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-native Species. Invasive non-native species are ones that arrive as a result of human action and cause environmental and economic damage. They pose a significant threat to ecosystems as well as damaging property and infrastructure. Existing law does not contain sufficient powers to allow for their timely and effective control or eradication. Our recommendations in relation to species control orders were given effect in the Infrastructure Act 2015, which received Royal Assent on 12 February. These orders will make it possible, under certain circumstances, to compel land owners or occupiers to carry out control or eradication operations, or allow them to be carried out by the issuing authority.