What is Wildlife Crime?
Wildlife crime is committed when an offence under certain Acts of Parliament has been breached.
Offences often involve cruelty and the unlawful killing of wild mammals and birds, some of which are protected species. Wildlife is the native fauna and flora of a region.
It includes all non-domesticated animals, wild plants and other organisms.
There are numerous Acts of Parliament that provide protection for wildlife in England and Wales. Some of the legislation that provides this protection is listed below but this is not exhaustive.
- Animal Welfare Act 2006
- Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
- Hunting Act 2004
- The Countryside and Rights of way Act 2000
- Wild Mammals (protection) Act 1996
- The Protection of Badgers Act 1992
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994
- Control of Trade in Endangered Species (enforcement) Regulations 1997
- Deer Act 1991
- Protection of Animals(Amendment) Act 1988
- The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
- Conservation of Seals Act 1970
- Protection of Animals Act 1911
- Game Licences Act 1860
- Game Act 1831
The Acts of Parliament outline a range of offences that can be committed. The police will enforce the law when offences under legislation are perpetrated and in particular those offences in relation to:
- Unlawful trapping/snaring of wild animals
- Unlawful hunting of wild mammals
- Killing, injuring, taking, disturbing etc. wild birds
- Taking/possessing/destroying wild birds eggs/nest disturbance
- Badger persecution
- Killing, injuring, taking, disturbing etc. wild bats
- Damaging protected sites
- Unlawful poisoning of wildlife
- Stealing wild plants
- Unlawful hunting and poaching
- Unlawful trade in endangered species
- Disturbing cetaceans