There is no clear evidence that bird registration has a deterrent effect on the illegal taking of high value native species from the wild for commercial sale. Such birds are also subject to stringent sales controls. Recent information from the National Wildlife Crime Unit indicates that there is minimal criminal activity in the trade of high value native species subject to bird registration, for example certain birds of prey, and such activity does not constitute a threat to their conservation.
My Department has undertaken a public consultation on a number of possible changes to the bird registration scheme. A number of respondents to that consultation considered any discontinuation or weakening of the registration scheme may lead to increase in illegal activity. My Department is seeking further advice from the UK’s nature conservation advisors, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and others on these issues before taking a decision on any future changes to the list of birds that need to be registered.