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Bacon_sandwich

Who owns swans?

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Bacon_sandwich

Now most people have probably been told that the queen owns all the swans in the U.K.

 

Others have probably been corrected and told it is only mute swans that are owned by the queen.

 

Finally some may have been told that it is only unmarked mute swans in certain parts of the Thames and its tributaries that the queen owns.

 

So who if anyone can give a definitive answer?

 

If you were called to a swan killing what would you crime it as?

 

Is it criminal damage? If yes who owns it?

 

Please when answering point to relevant legislation as there are plenty of myths surrounding this and I want to try and establish what is right.

 

 

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Chief Cheetah

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danswans

I do....... ;)


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Bacon_sandwich
I do....... _.b6cc4848906ce2bea58b7c9308bb8799


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Funny you should pipe up. It's your force I'm in dispute with

Perhaps you can take on the case and resolve it all for me.


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Mazza

The legislation is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 I think, according to Google/RSPB. We have similar legislation up here for sheep worrying which is a similar type of crime.

Protection of wild birds, their nests and eggs.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part, if any person intentionally—
(a)kills, injures or takes any wild bird;
[F2(aa)takes, damages or destroys the nest of a wild bird included in Schedule ZA1;]
(b)takes, damages or destroys the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built; or
©takes or destroys an egg of any wild bird,he shall be guilty of an offence.


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PoliceDoge

According to a publication by Parliament,  The Royal Prerogative

Quote

Some powers are best described as “archaic” prerogative powers of little relevance in the modern age. These typically cover small, specific issues, like the Crown’s right to sturgeon, wild and unmarked swans and whales. Legislating in these cases would be a questionable use of Parliamentary time.

It was held in the aptly named The Case of Swans  [1591] 77 E.R. 435 that:

Quote

All white swans not marked, having gained their natural liberty, and swimming in an open and common river, may be seized to the King's use by his prerogative.

because

Quote

a swan is a Royal fowl; and all those, the property whereof is not known, do belong to the King by his prerogative: and so 2whales and sturgeons are Royal fish, and belong to the King by his prerogative.

but

Quote

*Every one who hath swans within his private waters hath a property in them.*

*A man may prescribe to have a game of swans within his manor, and may prescribe that his swans may swim within the manor of another.*

As for offences, the RSPB say:

Quote

As native wild birds, swans enjoy statutory protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally injure, take or kill a wild swan. 

 

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chaos4122

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

It is an offence to kill a wild bird.

Are you saying that becouse the swans belong the queen they are not wild?

I think I would still crime it as that.


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PoliceDoge
4 minutes ago, chaos4122 said:

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

It is an offence to kill a wild bird.

Are you saying that becouse the swans belong the queen they are not wild?

I think I would still crime it as that.


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I can only imagine that this post is directed to me, but I'm not 100% sure as you haven't quoted :)

Section 27 says  

Quote

“wild bird” means any bird of a species which is ordinarily resident in or is a visitor to the European territory of any member State in a wild state but does not include poultry or, except in sections 5  and 16, any game bird;

So I'd agree that it applies to swans! I was simply answering the first question that @Bacon_sandwich asked with regards to the extent that the crown owns swans, and then going on to answer the second part with regards to offences.

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Bacon_sandwich

The majority of replies have gone along the lines of my thinking.

Wildlife and countryside act offence of killing a protected wild bird.

The people I am debating with are stating that the offence should be criminal damage with the queen/crown as the victim because apparently she owns all swans.

I disagree with this assessment but am open minded.

I'm looking for any factual evidence that would support the criminal damage argument or anyone that has dealt with similar cases and secured a conviction of criminal damage or simmer based on the fact a swan is owned by the queen.

Without anything like that I still think my trail of thought is correct and the criminal damage is based or myths legends and outdated laws.


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chaos4122
The majority of replies have gone along the lines of my thinking.

Wildlife and countryside act offence of killing a protected wild bird.

The people I am debating with are stating that the offence should be criminal damage with the queen/crown as the victim because apparently she owns all swans.

I disagree with this assessment but am open minded.

I'm looking for any factual evidence that would support the criminal damage argument or anyone that has dealt with similar cases and secured a conviction of criminal damage or simmer based on the fact a swan is owned by the queen.

Without anything like that I still think my trail of thought is correct and the criminal damage is based or myths legends and outdated laws.


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But what would the value of the damage be?

Prohaps both offences would for the crime... But I think your assessment is correct.

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Sceptre

@Bacon_sandwich, have you emailed your crime registrar to ask which crime they think you should record? Personally I think the protections to wild birds being more recent replace medieval laws to do with Royal Prerogative. 

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Bacon_sandwich
[mention=667]Bacon_sandwich[/mention], have you emailed your crime registrar to ask which crime they think you should record? Personally I think the protections to wild birds being more recent replace medieval laws to do with Royal Prerogative. 

 

I haven't and I think that might be a good call.

 

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