Con­cern over crime against wild an­i­mals

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - CLAIRE WILDE CRIME CORRESPONDENT ■ Email: claire.wilde@jpress.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @ClaireWildeYP

RU­RAL: A new study by wildlife char­i­ties high­lights a “wor­ry­ing lack” of pros­e­cu­tions for crimes against wild an­i­mals. Al­most 1,300 in­ci­dents were recorded by the 18 char­i­ties in a year but there were only 22 pros­e­cu­tions.

A NEW study by wildlife char­i­ties high­lights a “wor­ry­ing lack” of pros­e­cu­tions for crimes against wild an­i­mals.

Al­most 1,300 in­ci­dents were recorded by the 18 char­i­ties in a year but there were only 22 pros­e­cu­tions or con­vic­tions, it re­veals.

The report, co-or­di­nated by Wildlife and Coun­try­side Link and Wales En­vi­ron­ment Link, says the char­i­ties’ data for Eng­land and Wales for 2016 was be­lieved to be more com­pre­hen­sive than Home Of­fice crime sta­tis­tics but was still likely to be the “tip of the ice­berg”.

It calls on the Home Of­fice to fol­low Scot­land’s lead and create spe­cific po­lice record­ing codes for wildlife crime, so the is­sue can be bet­ter mon­i­tored.

Dr Elaine King, di­rec­tor of Wildlife and Coun­try­side Link, said: “We must pro­tect our wildlife from hor­ri­ble deaths at the hands of bad­ger-baiters, poach­ers and il­le­gal hunters.

“Scot­land has le­gal re­quire­ments to report on this is­sue and wildlife in Eng­land and Wales must not be for­got­ten.”

The report high­lights North York­shire as the county with the high­est num­ber of rap­tor per­se­cu­tion cases in the last five years.

It crit­i­cises a de­ci­sion by North York­shire Po­lice in 2016 to cau­tion a game­keeper who ad­mit­ted set­ting three pole traps for birds of prey on a grouse shoot­ing es­tate in the York­shire Dales Na­tional Park, which the force later ad­mit­ted had been a mis­take. But it praises the force for set­ting up a ru­ral task­force, be­lieved to be the largest unit ded­i­cated to tack­ling ru­ral crime in Eng­land.

Nearly half of the 1,278 in­ci­dents across Eng­land and Wales in­volved bad­gers, but only five cases came to court, in­clud­ing one which saw four Brad­ford men jailed for bad­ger-bait­ing in wood­land in North York­shire.

Do­minic Dyer, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Bad­ger Trust, said: “We are urg­ing the Home Of­fice to heed the pub­lic’s sense of in­jus­tice at th­ese crimes, and record and report on them trans­par­ently, so that re­sources can be tar­geted ef­fec­tively to help stop an­i­mals and birds be­ing sense­lessly killed.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.