Unfortunately, there are only two birds in the UK that you need a government permit to own; Cassowaries and Ostrich. However, that doesn’t mean that owning an owl in the UK is a good idea. In fact, it is the exact opposite! You couldn’t think of a worse bird to own as a pet. They are not bred for being pets, and no matter what you think about Harry Potter’s owl, they are dangerous and need a lot of care. Barn owls are, though, illegal to own in the UK, and they have the highest level of protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Owning a barn owl, a nest, or an egg has an unlimited fine, and up to six months in prison, and possibly both. Other than that, they are not illegal. The issue arises when you consider the dangers and care. A European Eagle Owl has the ability to kill a fox with their talons alone, and their beaks are more than strong enough to remove a finger. Furthermore, they need a lot of looking after, including flying time, clean-ups, and feeding them live food. So, Can you have a pet owl in the UK? Yes, you can.
Should you have a pet owl in the UK? No, you most certainly should not.