Decree 19/1997. (VII.4.) of the Ministry of Environment on the measures related to confiscated protected natural assets
In virtue of the authority conferred to me by Article 78 (3) and Article 85 (b) of Act LIII. of 1996 on the Conservation of Nature, I hereby order the following:
(1) The scope of this Decree shall include the placement, use and destruction of protected and strictly protected (hereinafter: protected) natural assets confiscated by:
a) a national park directorate (hereinafter: Directorate), or
b) other authority empowered by separate regulations,
as well as the administrative tasks related to these procedures.
(2) The scope of this Decree shall extend to any protected natural asset included in international conservation conventions unless otherwise provided by such conventions or the regulations issued for their execution.
(3) For the purpose of paragraphs (1) and (2), protected natural assets shall include:
a) any specimen of any protected living organism, including all stages and periods of its development as well as its derivatives (hereinafter, jointly: specimen);
b) any protected mineral, association of minerals or fossil (hereinafter, jointly: mineral formation);
c) any cave formation.
Upon a final resolution on confiscation enters into force, or upon issuance of a resolution of immediate execution, confiscated protected natural assets become property of the Hungarian State.
(1) The authority declaring confiscation shall make all necessary arrangements for keeping any confiscated live organism alive and fit, and for preserving the status and conditions of any derivative of protected living organisms and any protected non-living natural asset.
(2) If the official authority declaring confiscation is other than the Directorate or the Ministry of Environment (hereinafter: Ministry) then such authority shall promptly hand over the confiscated protected natural asset to the Directorate, which shall handle it according to the rules of responsible safe-keeping.
Any confiscated protected natural asset shall be used exclusively for purposes in line with the interests of nature conservation and in the way set forth herein.
During confiscation and placement of protected natural assets, it shall be excluded that they are put in trade, or that any product or derivative from animal or vegetal origin and any protected mineral or cave formation becomes private property or is administered by natural persons.
Confiscated protected natural assets shall be used (including their placement) in a way that live and fit protected organisms are returned to their habitat or serve other nature conservation purposes (demonstrational, scientific, research or educational).
Provisions on Protected Plant Species
(1) Any living specimen of protected plant species shall be returned to its habitat if this is required for the protection of the species and
a) the place of origin (collection) is precisely known;
b) the specimen is healthy and fit for life;
c) considering all circumstances, the return of the specimen to its habitat is bound to be successful and the conditions for its survival are guaranteed in the long term.
(2) If returning a live specimen of a protected plant species according to paragraph (1) above is not possible because:
a) the place of origin (collection) is not known, or
b) the specimen is not suitable for being returned to its habitat, or
c) the habitat has been destroyed or irreparably damaged, or
d) the survival of the specimen within its habitat cannot be guaranteed
arrangements shall be made for guaranteeing the best use of such specimen by its placement with a nature conservation organisation, a botanical garden (collection), or a scientific, research or educational institution.
(3) The use of a deceased specimen of a protected plant species shall only be possible by placing it with a nature conservation organisation, a scientific, research or educational institution, a public collection or any other legal person where the purposes of nature conservation may require.
(4) When placement according to paragraphs (2) and (3) above is not possible, the specimen of protected plant species may be placed in private collections, while maintaining the ownership right of the State.
(5) When use (placement) of a specimen of a protected plant species according to paragraphs (1) to (4) above is not possible within 6 months from the entering into force of a resolution on confiscation, and further keeping would result in costs out of proportion and attempts of use (placement) cannot be expected to be successful, the specimen shall be destroyed.
Provisions on protected animal species
(1) Any living specimen of a protected animal species shall be returned to its habitat if this is required for the conservation of the species and
a) the place of origin is precisely known;
b) the specimen is healthy and fit for life;
c) the return of the specimen would not impose negative consequences on the native population of the species;
d) considering all circumstances, the return of the specimen to its habitat is bound to be successful and the conditions for its survival are guaranteed in the long term.
(2) In order to meet the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) above, the authorities shall make sure that
a) during captivity and transportation, the specimen has not become infected with diseases or parasites which could be transferred to the wild population of the species or to other protected animal species;
b) the specimen belongs to the same subspecies as the receiving population and comes from the same area, and thereby does not deteriorate the genetic stock of the protected wild animal species;
c) the specimen has not adopted any behavioural elements of another, closely related species which would lead to interspecific hybridisation in the wild.
(3) If a living specimen cannot be returned to its habitat for lack of the conditions referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2), such specimen may be placed in a rehabilitation centre – in accordance with the principles of nature conservation and animal protection.
(4) Rehabilitation centres include game reserves, zoological gardens or any place registered by the Ministry as suitable for keeping protected animal species.
(5) If the protected animal species cannot be placed in a rehabilitation centre, it may be placed in a private collection, while maintaining the ownership right of the State, provided that the conditions for such keeping are guaranteed.
Maintenance in life of a living specimen of a protected species may be relinquished (by over-narcotising), if
a) the return of such specimen to its habitat is not justified or not possible from the point of view of such protected animal species, or it would endanger the survival of its population or the population of any other protected living organism, and
b) the placement of such specimen in a rehabilitation centre or private collection is not possible, or
c) the specimen has an incurable state of health and keeping it alive would cause it to suffer.
(1) The corps (derivatives) of a lifeless or over-narcotised specimen of a protected species shall be placed with a nature conservation organisation, scientific, research or educational institution or public collection, and used for nature conservation purposes.
(2) When use according to paragraph (1) above is not possible within 6 months from the entering into force of a resolution on confiscation, or any further keeping would result in costs out of proportion and attempts of use cannot be expected to be successful, such corps or derivative shall be destroyed in order to prevent its illegal trade.
Provisions on other protected living organisms
Use of protected live organisms not qualifying as protected plant or animal species shall be subject to the provisions – mutatis mutandis – of Articles 7 to 10 above.
Provisions of protected mineral and cave formations
(1) Protected mineral or cave formations shall be used exclusively by nature conservation organisations, scientific, research or educational institutions or public collections.
(2) No protected mineral or cave formation may be destroyed.
Rules of Procedure
(1) Placement or use of protected natural assets shall be governed by
a) for protected natural assets, the Directorate,
b) for any natural asset under strict protection or covered by an international treaty and for any cave formation, the Ministry, at the initiative of the Directorate.
The Directorate, or if the case may be, the Ministry shall inform the body exercising the ownership right of the State about the decision on placement or use.
(2) A resolution brought by the Directorate or the Ministry in accordance with paragraph (1) above shall not affect the rights – granted by separate law – of the body exercising the ownership right of the State.
(3) Execution of any resolution referred to in paragraph (1) above shall be the responsibility of the Directorate in charge of preserving the relevant protected natural asset.
(4) The requirements in terms of content, service and remedy concerning a resolution made according to paragraph (1) above shall be subject to the provisions of Act IV of 1957 of the General Rules of Administrative Proceedings.
This Decree shall enter into force on the eighth day following its announcement, and its provisions shall apply to any case in process.
Minister of Environment