What is Wildlife Crime?

Wildlife crime is committed when an offence under certain Acts of Parliament has been breached. Offences often involve cruelty and the unlawful killing of wild mammals and birds, some of which are protected species. Wildlife is the native fauna and flora of a region. It includes all non-domesticated animals, wild plants and other organisms. The domestication of wild animals and plant species for human benefit has occurred over many hundreds of years, and can have a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative.

There are numerous Acts of Parliament that provide protection for wildlife in England and Wales. Some of the legislation that provides this protection is listed below but this is not exhaustive.

  • Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
  • Hunting Act 2004
  • The Countryside and Rights of way Act 2000
  • Wild Mammals (protection) Act 1996
  • The Protection of Badgers Act 1992
  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994
  • Control of Trade in Endangered Species (enforcement) Regulations 1997
  • Deer Act 1991
  • Protection of Animals(Amendment) Act 1988
  • The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
  • Conservation of Seals Act 1970
  • Protection of Animals Act 1911
  • Game Licences Act 1860
  • Game Act 1831