Poisoning, trapping and being set upon by dogs are just some of the thousands of largely hidden and horrific acts of crime and cruelty inflicted on UK wild animals, including badgers, hares, bats and birds of prey, annually. Yet inconsistent laws and limited resources mean limitations in policing and enforcement resources, and a lack of awareness of wildlife crime. This is according to new research commissioned by IFAW from criminologists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Gloucestershire.
This report presents the story of those on the front line of wildlife crime enforcement, spotlighting some of the more prolific national crimes against our wildlife. It doesn’t tackle the wider backdrop of the many international illegal wildlife trade challenges the UK also faces, for example, relating to the trade in ivory and rhino horn, which also impact how scant resources can be directed. The challenges however are created by the same enforcement gaps that affect domestic wildlife, thus addressing them will positively impact on domestic and international wildlife crime.