§ The Marquess of Ailesbury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether it is necessary to hold a licence in order to collect gulls' eggs; and if so, why.
§ The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Lord Elton)
All naturally occurring species of wild birds must be protected under the terms of Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. Accordingly, Section 1(1)(c) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to take or destroy the egg of any wild bird.
To comply with the directive, a licence is generally necessary to collect the eggs of wild birds. However for certain pest species, listed on Schedule 2, Part II, to the 1981 Act and including the Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls, eggs may be collected without a licence by any authorised person as defined in Section 27 of the Act.