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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
Vice Chair: Peter Charleston, Bat Conservation Trust
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. Tackling wildlife crime in the UK is not afforded the prioritisation and resources that it deserves, partly due to a lack of understanding of the scale of wildlife crime in the UK.

The Group has commissioned a report investigating the issue of wildlife crime in England and Wales. The aim is to make a strong and robust case to Government to show that wildlife crime is a major issue. The final report is expected in the coming months, and the Group is currently developing a strategy for engaging with relevant officials and decision-makers to progress this campaign.

Sentencing Guidelines
Members of the Wildlife Crime and Trade Group are advocating for the inclusion of wildlife crime in the Sentencing Council’s review of guidance, in order to establish clear, up-to-date and deterrent sentencing guidelines for those that commit crimes against wildlife. The Group will soon be meeting with the Sentencing Council to discuss both international and domestic wildlife crime in this context.

International Policy
The Group has been advocating for the closure of the domestic ivory market in the UK. In December, members wrote to Defra Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, highlighting the urgency of the situation. Currently, it is unlikely that a long-promised public consultation on Government plans to increase restrictions on ivory trade will be published until after the General Election.

Additionally, the Group has been identifying the opportunities and challenges for wildlife post-Brexit, with particular reference to wildlife crime and trade. Link published a blog from the Group’s Chair, Mark Jones, outlining the implications of Brexit for wildlife trafficking policy.

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

Last updated: 28 April 2017