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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Care should be taken in buying animals or birds from adverts in the newspapers. Below are examples of steps that should be taken with respect to particular birds and animals.

Barn Owl - it is illegal to sell a barn owl that is not captive bred and close ringed. If you are thinking of buying a barn owl then it must be accompanied by an Article 10 certificate (issued by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) (DEFRA).
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) do not advocate the buying of owls as they do not make good domestic pets.

Bird of Prey - the same applies as with barn owls. The birds of prey for sale must be ringed and registered with DEFRA and must be accompanied by an Article 10 certificate.

Tortoise - if you are going to buy a tortoise make sure it is from a reputable breeder and it has all the documentation required. Buying a tortoise is not as simple as it may appear as some are now endangered species. Please see the website for further information on buying and caring for tortoises.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.