Is It Legal To Eat Wild Birds?
The Taverners pub on the Isle of Wight has finally stopped selling rook salad after asked to desist by the authorities, bringing into question what the exact rules are related to eating wild birds. All wild birds in the UK are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. However, some can technically be killed and eaten with a special license – but only wood pigeon can be sold for human consumption. It would, however, be legal to eat a wild bird if it had been killed by someone else, or discovered dead as roadkill - although anyone wishing to do so would have to prove they were not responsible for its demise. In fact, whilst the owners of The Taverners were not prosecuted, the man suspected of supplying the rook meat to the pub has been accused of contravening the 1981 Act.