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Wildlife crime

"Wildlife crime includes offences such as poaching, killing or disturbing protected species or damaging their breeding and resting places, and illegally trading in endangered species. It is one of the pressures that can push animal and plant species closer to extinction. Some wildlife crimes, such as badger-baiting and the illegal use of poisons and traps, can cause unnecessary pain and suffering." - GOV.UK - Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime.

Many wild animals, birds,reptiles and plants are protected by law. The law applies not only to specific species but in some cases all wild animals.

Wildlife crimes include such offences as;

  • Poaching
  • Killing or disturbing protected species or damaging their breeding and resting places
  • Illegally trading in endangered species including items such as ivory under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)
  • Badger baiting or interfering with their setts
  • Illegal use of poisons
  • Illegal use of traps and snares
  • Hare coursing
  • Picking, uprooting  or collecting certain plants
  • Egg theft

In certain circumstances wild animals can be killed or taken legitimately however, the methods for doing so are strictly regulated to ensure they are effective, humane and safe. The regulations apply to the use of:

  • Firearms
  • Pesticides
  • Spring traps

How to report wildlife crime

If you suspect that a crime against wildlife has taken place, the following links will provide you with directions on how to report wildlife crime in your area.

For further information on wildlife crime see: