Wildcats: licences for possession

NatureScot can issue licences to permit the legal possession of wildcats for scientific, research or educational purposes.

All wildcats – living and dead – are protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994.

You must have a licence to legally possess a dead wildcat, or part of a dead wildcat, that was collected since June 1994.

NatureScot can issue licences for the possession of wildcats for scientific, research or educational purposes. For a licence to be issued, you must be able to clearly show the scientific or educational purpose.

Such a licence is used to permit, for example:

  • scientists to use wildcat samples for research
  • museums, schools or ranger services to display dead wildcats for educational purposes

How to apply

To apply for a licence to possess a dead wildcat, email [email protected].

You should include:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • the number and nature (whole or part) of individual specimens
  • the purpose of possession
  • the date and location where specimens were found
  • where specimens will be kept

Licence changes and renewals

You should get in touch if you wish to amend a licence. But check your licence conditions first: you may be able to appoint agents and assistants without having to get them named on your licence.

Find out about adding persons to a licence.

You must also remember to contact us to renew your licence. Licences aren’t renewed automatically.


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]

Find out more

Data Protection notice

Last updated: