horrific acts against wild animals
Poisoning, trapping, and being set upon by dogs are just some of the horrific acts inflicted on wild animals in the UK. Whether that’s badgers, hares, bats, or birds of prey—all are cruelly targeted by criminals. Inconsistent laws and overstretched police forces make it difficult to investigate and prosecute the culprits. In addition, the fact that such crimes are ‘non-notifiable’—meaning they are not recorded in their own category in the national crime statistics—is also a major issue.
government action needed
To shine a spotlight on the problem, IFAW has published a new report—Make wildlife matter—which makes the case that change is urgently needed. We are calling on the government to protect our precious wildlife by introducing the following measures:
- giving more wildlife crimes notifiable status
- harmonising all UK wildlife law
- ensuring that there is at least one dedicated full-time wildlife crime officer per force
- incorporating wildlife crime into the Policing Education Qualification Framework
- developing enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing guidelines to combat inconsistencies around wildlife crime scenarios
research shines a light on the issue
Make wildlife matter, is based on the concerning findings of new research commissioned by IFAW from criminologists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Gloucestershire, which indicate that wild animals in the UK need better protection from cruelty and suffering. The report shines a light on this issue that needs to be addressed by the government.
There are also mounting concerns about wildlife crime links to organised crime. Of the police forces who responded, 81% felt that wildlife crime was linked to theft and dishonesty and half highlighted links to firearms and violent crimes.