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Wildlife Crime

The Wildlife Crime 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: Martin Sims, League Against Cruel Sports
Vice-Chair: Craig Fellowes, Badger Trust
Link: Matt Browne, Advocacy Lead

Update from the Group

Wildlife crime is a significant threat to conservation, animal welfare and the wider environment. However, most wildlife crimes in England and Wales are not centrally recorded. Enforcement officers are working hard to tackle this area of crime, but they are hindered by the lack of a proper recording and reporting process. Our annual reports show the scale of wildlife crime in England and Wales, and call on the Government to ensure this crime is recorded and tackled effectively.

The Group published their latest annual wildlife crime report in November 2021. Previous wildlife crime reports can be found here.

Link CEO Richard Benwell was a guest on the Planet Pod podcast in November 2020, speaking about Link's ongoing work on Wildlife Crime.

In January 2021 Martin Sims, as Chair of the Group, wrote to the Defra to support proposals for a close season for hares in England, and a ban on snares.

In April 2021 the Group wrote to all Police and Crime Commissioner candidates, asking them to prioritise tackling wildlife crime if elected.

For more information, please contact Matt Browne, Link's Advocacy Lead.

Last updated: 25 November 2021.