EU species protection and strategies

The European Union’s legislation is influenced by several Union-level strategies. For game husbandry, key strategies include the Biodiversity Strategy and the Sustainable Development Strategy. The aim of the EU Biodiversity Strategy is to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction or loss of biodiversity. The Biodiversity Strategy is being updated, and the main objective of the renewed strategy is to halt the deterioration in the status of species and habitats and to significantly improve their status by 2020. The EU Sustainable Development Strategy is based on the principle that economic, social and environmental effects should be examined in a coordinated way and be taken into account in decision-making. The strategy has four priorities: climate change, transport, public health and natural resources.

Habitats Directive

The Habitats Directive means the EU Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

The aim of the Directive is to promote the maintenance of biodiversity by maintaining natural habitats and species of wild fauna and flora at a favourable conservation status. The measures taken under the Directive take account of economic, social and cultural requirements and regional and local characteristics.

Game animals include species of Community interest listed in the Directive. To protect these species, special areas of conservation must be designated. The following game animal species are covered by the Habitats Directive: wolverine, European beaver, grey seal, lynx, Baltic ringed seal, bear, mountain hare, forest reindeer, pine marten and wolf.

Birds Directive

The Birds Directive means the EU Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds.

The aim of the Directive is to protect, manage and control naturally occurring species of wild birds. The populations of the species should be maintained at a level corresponding in particular to ecological, scientific and cultural requirements. Population management policies and measures should take into account economic and recreational requirements.

The Birds Directive specifically lists the game bird species that may be hunted in each EU country. All game bird species occurring in Finland may be hunted. The Directive obliges EU countries to ensure that the practice of hunting complies with the principles of wise use and ecologically balanced control of the bird species concerned.


Useful external website

Biodiversity Strategy (EUR-Lex)

Habitats Directive (EUR-Lex)

Birds Directive (EUR-Lex)