Protected species: shrews

All species of shrew found in Scotland – which we count among our smallest mammals – are protected by law.

Shrews of all species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) – but only from trapping and certain methods of killing.

You can see our summary of offences in relation to these protected species below. For the definitive list of offences, you should consult the actual legislation.

Discover more about shrews found in Scotland.

Offences: shrews

It is an offence to use a prohibited means (including any trap) to kill or capture any species of shrew.


Licensing allows named individuals to carry out actions that could otherwise constitute an offence. If you’re planning any activities that could affect shrews, you must make sure you stay within the law.

Find out about shrews and licensing.

Learn more about licensing.

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Protected species known to occur naturally in Scotland and their protection

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