We had a good meeting with Ian Knox, the Head of The Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit in London on the 7th February. Wildlife crime is a serious concern and impacts upon people and whole communities.
In Britain the responsibility for enforcement of the laws protecting our wildlife rests with the police service. However, many different offences are committed against wildlife in this country every year, and this is what is meant by wildlife crime.
In our private meeting various forms of wildlife crime were discussed including endangered species and the sale of bush meat and illegal trading in tiger skins and elephant ivory. etc. Wildlife crime in the UK was discussed and included hare coursing, badger baiting and hunting with dogs amongst other wildlife crimes.Wildlife legislation is necessary to protect wildlife from expolitation and cruelty. People are increasingly less tolerant of unecessary suffering to wildlife.
Illegal hare coursing has long been a problem for the police all over the country as it is known to be associated with other forms of criminality such as farm equipment theft and distraction burglary. Hare coursing causes anxiety to Farmers, damages their crops and enables unwanted ‘sporting’ activities on Farmer’s land.The Hunting Act 2004 bans hare coursing and hare hunting with dogs and is welcomed by many Farmers.Hares populations are declining and are an issue of conservation concern and the legislation helps to protect their numbers from further decline.
One of the sharpest rises in wildlife crime in general has been in what police call “badger persecution”, a term that includes badgers being dug out of their setts, pitted against terrier dogs in fights. read our letter against badger baiting published in the Guardian on the 12th January 2012 with leading animal welfare organisations called’help Stamp Out Wildlife crime’http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/12/help-stamp-out-wildlife-crime?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038
Read about animal welfare organisation WSPA’s vital funding to support the Met Police’s Wildlife crime unit here:
The Unit is part of the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate, and is made up of a small team of specialist police and civilian staff who have been appointed for their expertise and experience in wildlife matters. The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to enforcing the laws protecting wildlife. If you know of anybody involved in crimes against wildlife, please call the Wildlife Crime Unit on 020 7230 8898 Or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111