In general, wildlife crime is any action which contravenes current legislation governing the protection of the UK’s wild animals and plants.
It can include:
- Badger persecution – including baiting, snaring, shooting, and disturbance of setts
- Bat persecution
- Egg theft or collection
- ‘Sheep worrying’
- Bird of Prey persecution – through poisoning, trapping, shooting, disturbance of nest and/or theft of chicks
- The trade in ivory, tortoises, rhino horn and other protected species covered by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) including caviar, Traditional Chinese Medicines, and orchids)
- Non registration of certain birds and animals that require licensing through DEFRA/Animal Health if kept in captivity or sold
- Habitat destruction
- Hare Coursing
- Deer poaching
- Fish poaching
Incidents involving domestic animals such as dogs (other than dogs being used to hunt mammals), cats, rabbits, budgies and other pets • Stray Horses • Cruelty to domesticated animals • Wild animals that have been involved in road traffic accidents
Across the West Midlands we have a small network of Wildlife Officers who divide their time between more familiar policing work and protecting wildlife. We consider many offences covered by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.
Wildlife crime can take many forms. It could be people shooting at birds with air guns to more organised crimes of deer and fish poaching, destruction of habitats and offences against badgers and bats. In the past we’ve investigated cases of birds’ egg theft and the illegal sale and movement of birds of prey. We’ve also raised the awareness over the issue of ‘sheep worrying’ which covers anything from over-excited dogs chasing livestock to full-on attacks, but also applies if a dog is off the lead and not under close control in a field containing sheep.
You can report wildlife crime to us by using our Live Chat facility, which can be accessed by clicking the button on the right of the screen. You can see our chat opening hours here. If Live Chat is unavailable call us on 101. We can then work with our partner agencies to take the most appropriate action.
The RSPCA also deal with wildlife crime and other animal welfare issues (such as dog fighting). They can be contacted 24 hours a day and may be able to attend an ongoing wildlife crime if police aren’t available to do so.
Crimestoppers can also be contacted in complete confidence on 0800 555 111.
- The National Wildlife Crime Unit assists us in the prevention and detection of wildlife crime. For more information about the work they do, please click here.
- Click here to learn more about Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England.
- If you want to report this crime anonymously, you can do so by clicking here and visiting the Crimestoppers website. Crimestoppers are an independent charity and calls won’t be traced or recorded.