Do you know of anyone who has been taken to court, and what are the penalties?
SHOOTING LEGAL ADVICE
Yes you can and it applies to some pretty common species such as grey squirrel and Canada geese, neither of which are native.
As both make good eating why would you want to release them anyway?
I daresay there have been instances of folk being charged with unlawful release but I?m not aware of any specific cases.
If you see a bunny hugger releasing a squirrel or whatever you should consider making a report to the police.
There are good reasons for these laws, because alien species can sometimes cause havoc, and even lead to the extinction of native species.
The signal crayfish is another unwanted alien that makes good eating.
There are occasional prosecutions for releasing alien species and you can be fined or imprisoned, or both.