Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
There are several thousand non-native species in the UK. A minority pose serious ecological or economic threats and are described as invasive non-native species. For example, Japanese knotweed causes problems for the construction and transport infrastructure sectors.
New species are being introduced to Europe, for example through trade, horticulture, landscaping, transport of goods, etc. There is a risk of introducing new invasive species that will become problems in the future.
Unless you obtain a licence to do so, it is an offence in Northern Ireland to release into the wild, or allow to escape into the wild, an animal that is:
It is also an offence if you plant or cause to grow in the wild certain listed species of plant
You must apply to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for any exceptions to these provisions.
Contact your environmental regulator
Unless you obtain a licence to do so, it is an offence in Scotland to:
The licensing authority for this is the Scottish Natural Heritage.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
More information on these offences, your responsibilities and some exceptions can be found in:
Scottish Government: Code of Practice on Non-Native Species
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