Victory for animals!

Posted on 01 March 2016 by

Josh Kaile

in the Animals in the wild blog

The Government have listened to you and saved the NWCU.

For the past 5 months World Animal Protection has been tirelessly campaigning to save the work of the national UK police unit dedicated to fighting wildlife crime. We’ve lobbied MP’s, been down to Parliament on several occasions and recruited wonderful celebrity support in backing our campaign.

As the countdown got closer to the March deadline, we started to worry that our Government really wasn’t going to protect our wildlife and would let the Unit close, giving criminals a free pass to hunt, poach and trade. As the days passed, staff at the National Wildlife Crime Unit had no idea if their jobs were secure, while the Government announced funding for frivolous and unnecessary items such as £80k for printing on goatskin parchment on official documents. An insult to our British wildlife!
But credit where it’s due: today’s announcement that funding will be provided is a very welcome decision and a victory for animal welfare campaigners everywhere. 

The NWCU have now had their funding from Defra and Home Office of £136k per year maintained for the next 4 years. They also have an additional £29k per year from Defra to tackle wildlife crime online. This is a fantastic achievement and gives the unit the security and platform they need to keep protecting UK wildlife from horrific abuse.

I am most intrigued by the reason why the Government has funded the NWCU. Now sure it may be down to the kindness of their hearts to protect UK wildlife. It could also be because the Unit have shown time and time again that they are vital in tackling serious, organised criminals who exploit wildlife for their own ends. 

But really, I think a large part of it is because of you. We couldn’t do half of our work without you!

Thousands upon thousands of World Animal Protection supporters and the general public have demanded that the Government protects the NWCU. From writing to MPs demanding they do what they can to save the unit, to writing directly to the Government, signing petitions and flooding social media. It has all had a massive impact and ultimately saved the amazing NWCU.

I spoke with the head of the NWCU earlier this morning and he asked me to pass on his immense thanks to all World Animal Protections supporters and absolutely everyone who has worked so hard to protect the future of him and his team in the work they do. He said it couldn’t have been done without you all and he is unbelievably grateful.

I often hear people say how disappointed they are in UK politics, that politicians are all the same, in it for themselves and that lobbying and campaigning doesn’t make a difference. And I understand why people say these things, it often feels that way.

But we have to take a minute at times like this to remember that we really do have power to stand up for what we believe in and really make a difference for animals across the UK.

So let’s enjoy this moment and rightly celebrate. But then we need to get back up and continue the good fight to protect animals across our country and around the world. I hope you will join us once again, because together, we can achieve anything.

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