Britain: ‘Help stamp out wildlife crime’

Posted on November 5, 2012

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Today (5th November), an item was posted on the web-site of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) titled ‘Help stamp out wildlife crime’.

‘… Thursday 15th November will see the first ever Police and Crime Commissioners election take place, where approximately three hundred and fifty candidates compete for the forty-one posts available.

For the first time ever, the individuals overseeing the policing of our country need to take voters’ wishes into account if they want to be elected.

The League is committed to ensuring wildlife crime is a core issue in next week’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections, contacting candidates ourselves and asking supporters to get in touch with their local candidates to express their concerns over wildlife crime.

The high profile campaign against the badger cull in England, and the recent postponement of the cull, prove that preventing wildlife cruelty remains close to many people’s hearts.  Cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport and wildlife crime is also at the very heart of what the League does and we remain vigilant and active in seeking to expose and end both practices.

Sadly, there has been a rise in wildlife crime recently, in both rural and urban areas, which is deeply disturbing. This includes the illegal use of poisons and snares, which have led to the suffering, and in many instances deaths, of numerous wild and domestic animals.

We are also concerned that hunting with dogs continues illegally across the country, despite it being outlawed under the 2004 Hunting Act. This puts the lives of foxes, deer, hare and mink at risk – animals that are hunted and often killed by packs of dogs. It also results in other incidents, including hunt hounds trespassing onto roads, railway lines and private land, causing danger to livestock and domestic pets.

The League receives numerous calls from people living in rural communities who are too intimidated by their local hunts to report illegal behaviour to the police.

In more urban areas we are also concerned about the worrying increase in illegal dog fighting.

The League is working alongside the police to help combat these problems, including offering police forces training on enforcing wildlife crime legislation; advising on individual prosecutions; passing intelligence to the National Wildlife Crime Unit; and also encouraging our supporters to pass information to the police.

The new Police and Crime Commissioners will help provide an invaluable resource in enabling us and the police to tackle wildlife crime. This is why we have contacted all candidates during the campaign and, subsequently, will contact those who are elected. We are encouraging them to join us in challenging the culture that sees wildlife crime as acceptable and send out a clear, unequivocal message to the police and their own communities that wildlife crime is, in fact, totally unacceptable.

We want Commissioners to record wildlife crime properly; publish the related statistics; and help end its massive under-reporting, which is happening because many people think reporting wildlife crime won’t be acted upon. Crime is crime and wildlife crime should be reported and acted on like any other illegal activity.

We also want Commissioners to understand that wildlife crime is not just an issue in isolation. Our own evidence suggests it is often linked to other criminal activities, such as burglary, drug trafficking and general anti-social behaviour, which will. be of great concern to their constituents.

We hope, therefore, that Commissioners will give wildlife crime the priority it requires in order for it to be tackled effectively, and to ensure that those who are responsible for such illegal acts are swiftly brought to justice …’

Read the item and add your comment online at www.league.org.uk/blogpost/748/Help-Stamp-Out-Wildlife-Crime

Please support the League Against Cruel Sports and all their campaigns.

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