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Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019

The Order enables the enforcement of the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation 1143/2014 regarding the prevention and management of invasive alien plant and animal species in England and Wales.  It includes the relevant licenses, permits and rules for keeping invasive alien species.

The Order came into effect on 1 December 2019, bringing legislation broadly into line with that which applies elsewhere in the UK.  Its purpose is the prevention and management of spread of invasive alien species.


In broad terms the Order prohibits:

In effect, any muntjac already in captivity when the Order came into force must remain so until the end of their natural lives and should not be bred.  

The release of any muntjac taken to a rescue centre (or similar) is not permitted subsequent to rehabilitation. 

The terms of the Order are such that it is possible that the deliberate release of any muntjac accidentally trapped in an enclosed area, and not at liberty to come and go at will from the site in question, would probably constitute an offence, though releasing an animal accidentally constrained (such as caught in netting) is not considered to be.

A specific license is not required for any such animal kept as a ‘companion animal’ if it was owned prior to the order coming into effect and it is maintained at all times in a controlled holding from which it cannot escape.  Anyone keeping a muntjac after it was listed under the Order without realising it to be an offence is advised to contact Natural England or Natural Resources Wales (as appropriate) for guidance. 

You should NOT release your pet into the wild as you may be prosecuted.

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