Chair: Martin Sims, League Against Cruel Sports
Vice-Chair: Craig Fellowes, Badger Trust
Link: Jodie Le Marquand, Information and Policy Coordinator
Domestic Wildlife Crime
In 2018, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) launched England and Wales’s first Wildlife Crime Policing Strategy, running from 2018-2021. Produced in close consultation with many members of the Group, the Wildlife Crime Policing Strategy contains much to be welcomed, including echoing our calls for improved recording of wildlife crime.
Publication of this strategy demonstrated clear consensus between the police and the NGO sector, and strengthened the case for the Home Office and Defra to make the urgent improvements needed to protect our wildlife from criminal activity. However, in practice, joint work between police forces and Group member organisations has been poor. A key focus of the Group this year is to highlight the problems to the new NPCC lead and work together on the solutions.
In October, Link’s Wildlife Crime Working Group published their third annual wildlife crime report. Since our first report of this kind, in 2016, reports of wildlife crimes have risen by 17%. However, as Government remain unable to report on the extent of wildlife crime, this data is piecemeal. We are calling on Government to record wildlife crime centrally, allowing for trends to be understood and hotspots discovered. Our report was launched in parliament at an event hosted by Kerry McCarthy MP, with over 15 MPs and peers attending to show support for ending wildlife crime and hearing more about our findings. The Group are already working on the next report, to be launched in Summer this year.
In May, we celebrated good news for elephants as an appeal against the Ivory Act was dismissed for the second time. We are thankful for the Court’s decision to value the lives of elephants above the interests of those who want to profit from ivory. David Cowdrey, Vice-Chair of the group, details more in his blog.
In February, the Group responded to Government’s consultation and call for evidence on Trophy Hunting imports. The response called for a ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK. A complete ban would recognise the clear and consistent message from public opinion polling that the overwhelming majority of the British public do not support trophy hunting. In an online Survation poll of over 1,000 British adults conducted in July 2019, 63% of respondents were ‘strongly supportive’ and a further 12% were ‘supportive’ of a ban.
For more information, please contact Jodie Le Marquand, Link's Information & Policy Coordinator
Last updated: 6 July 2020
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