Wildlife crime in the UK

Many wild animals are protected by law. It is illegal to buy, sell or harm them.

Yet the illegal wildlife trade still thrives, putting many wild animals in danger of cruelty and exploitation.

Download our report "Wildlife Crime in the UK" >>

Examples of wildlife crime

Types of wildlife crime include:

  • Illegally trading endangered species
  • Smuggling protected animals and their parts (such as tortoises, ivory and caviar)
  • Poisoning animals
  • Disturbing or killing wild birds; or taking their eggs
  • Poaching
  • Disturbing, injuring or killing bats, and damaging or obstructing their roosts
  • The illegal use of snares or explosives to kill or injure animals
  • Violence towards badgers, including badger baiting

What are we doing about wildlife crime?

National wildlife crime strategy

We are calling for the UK Government to create a national plan for tackling wildlife crime

Work with local forces

We work with forces across the UK, including the Metropolitan Police, to raise awareness of wildlife crime and the illegal trade in endangered species

Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW)

We are members of PAW – a group of organisations working together to fight wildlife crime in the UK

Raising awareness of wildlife crime

In order to tackle wildlife crime, more awareness is needed on what it is and how the public can help by reporting it. World Animal Protection have raised awareness by:

Map of UK wildlife crime

From a single poached carp that can be worth up to £12,000 on the black market to hare coursers who can make up to £30,000 in three months' of 'bets' - our interactive map shows that wildlife crime can be a low risk activity with high rewards. 

Explore our interactive wildlife crime map >>

Tell the world:


Reporting Wildlife Crime

If you think wildlife crime is being committed, we urge you to contact the police by dialling 101 or in an emergency, 999.

You can also report wildlife crime anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Contact your local police station and ask to speak to their Wildlife Crime Officer. Find contact details for local police forces.

If you live in London you can contact the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit.

Image: World Animal Protection/Kay Lockett