Legal status of bats

All species of bat and their breeding sites or resting places (roosts) are protected under Regulation 41 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and Section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is illegal to intentionally kill, injure or handle a bat, to possess a bat (whether live or dead), disturb a roosting bat, or sell or offer a bat for sale without a licence. It is also an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to any place used by bats for shelter, whether they are present or not.

Further guidance on bats

Photo credit: Colleen Mainstone

  1. Batty about bats
  2. Bat facts
  3. New Forest bat species
  4. Rare bats and research
  5. Legal status of bats (you are here)
  6. Get involved with bats


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