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.
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
- 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:
- Launching a national report on wildlife crime.
- Working with local police forces to publicise their work. Read about our work in London
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 >>
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.