Endangered Species Act in the UK

Updated March 17, 2017

The Endangered Species Act in the UK, passed in 1976, defines an endangered species and requires a permit for the import or export of any organism belonging to an endangered species.

Definitions and Categories

The Endangered Species Act groups members of endangered species into four categories: vulnerable, threatened, endangered or critically endangered. A species that is either vulnerable or threatened has a likelihood of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, whereas species that are endangered or critically endangered are currently in various states of possible extinction.

Obtaining a License

Anyone wishing to import or export any member of an endangered species, plant or animal, must submit an application to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then submit the application to an appropriate scientific authority knowledgeable on that organism who will advise the former on the matter.

License Fraud

If a person gets caught submitting an application which contains any untrue claim or which includes any fraudulent document, whether knowingly or not, he will be either fined £400 or given up to two years of jail time, or both.

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About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Lena Freund began writing professionally in 2007, while living in Tel Aviv. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Middle Eastern studies and Hispanic studies from the College of William & Mary and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University. Freund's articles about travel, languages and cultures have been published on various websites.