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.

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

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