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Wildlife Crime & Trade

The Wildlife Crime and Trade Working Group works to improve the conservation and protection of wild flora and fauna threatened by domestic wildlife crime and international trade, also seeking to address the associated welfare issues. The working group aims to ensure the effective enforcement of UK wildlife laws and the proper implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and relevant EU directives.

Chair: Mark Jones, Born Free Foundation
Policy and Campaigns Manager: Emma Pereira, Link

Update from the Group

UK Policy

Recording Wildlife Crime

One of the Group’s key work areas is to advocate for wildlife crime to be recordable in the UK. The Group is concerned that tackling wildlife crime in the UK is not afforded the prioritisation and resources that it deserves for more effective law enforcement, partly due to a lack of understanding of the scale of wildlife crime in the UK.

The Group has commissioned a report investigating the feasibility and advantages of collecting data on wildlife crime. The aim is to make a strong and robust case to Government to show that wildlife crime is a major issue in the UK, and that data need to be collected and analysed in order for police forces to allocate resources most effectively. Collaborative work with the University of Derby on a postgraduate research project into wildlife crime recording is also helping to provide further evidence of the need to make wildlife crime more recordable. The Group is currently reviewing report drafts and expects to finalise the report over the coming months.

International Policy

The Group has recently been advocating for the closure of the domestic ivory market in the UK. In December, members wrote to Defra Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, on this subject. It is understood that a consultation will be released soon around the possibilities for stopping this trade.
This month, the Group received a number of responses from MPs to a letter sent in January, in advance of the parliamentary debate on ivory on 6 February. Many MPs were supportive of closing the UK trade, with some attending the debate following Link’s letter to advocate for better leadership by the UK on ivory. On the day of the debate, the Group’s Chair, Mark Jones, wrote a blog outlining the main concerns and the impact of the UK’s trade on elephant populations.

A blog was also posted in February on the illegal wildlife trade, by Matthew Lowton from the Environmental Investigations Agency. In his blog, Matthew discussed the number of significant global events that have taken place in recent months, noting that whilst momentum has been building, more must be done to protect wildlife.

For further information, contact Emma Pereira, Link’s Policy and Campaigns Manager.

Last updated: 02 March 2017