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Legal matters

Updated 24.8.2020

Several different laws have been enacted in Finland regarding the possession of dead animals. The Hunting Act (28.6.1993 / 615) stipulates which animals are game species and which are non-sedative mammal and bird species. Birds and mammals other than those included in this list are therefore automatically protected, with the exception of species listed as harmful alien species, which are also non-protected (Alien Species Regulations 1709/2015 and 704/2019).

Game species include:

  1. rabbit, mountain hare, brown hare, red squirrel, European beaver, Canadian beaver, muskrat, nutria, wolf, farmed arctic fox, red fox, raccoon dog, bear, raccoon, badger, ermine, polecat, otter, pine marten, American mink, wolverine, lynx, Baltic ringed seal, harbour seal, grey seal, wild boar, fallow deer, red deer, sika deer, roe deer, moose, whitetailed deer, forest reindeer, and mouflon; and
  2. canadian goose, greylag goose, bean goose, mallard, teal, wigeon, pintail, garganey, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, common eider, long-tailed duck, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, goosander, willow grouse, ptarmigan, hazel grouse, black grouse, capercaillie, partridge, pheasant, coot, woodcock, and wood pigeon.
Alien species include: american mink, muskrat, raccoon dog.

Unprotected species include:

  1. bank vole, water vole, common vole, field vole, root vole, yellow-necked field mouse, brown rat, and house mouse; and
  2. raven (in the reindeer husbandry area), hooded crow, magpie, herring gull, great blackbacked gull, domestic pigeon, and fieldfare.
A game animal found dead belongs to the holder of the hunting right of the area if the said person has the right to hunt the same game animal species in the area. If no party holds the hunting right or hunting licence for the game animal, a game animal found dead may not be taken into possession, unless otherwise provided.

In addition, the Hunting Decree (12 July 1993/666) regulates trade in game animals as follows):

The trade of Canadian goose, bean goose, garganey, long-tailed duck, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, goosander, hazel grouse, black grouse and capercaillie hunted in Finland as well as their recognizable parts or products made of them is prohibited.

According to section 40 of the Nature Conservation Act (20.12.1996 / 1096), a protected animal found dead may not be taken over. However, such an animal may be submitted to a state research institute for examination to determine the cause of death.