In response to the Government’s announement today that it will fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit for the next four years, Humane Society International/UK has issued the following response:
Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK says “HSI applauds the announcement by Defra and the Home Office today committing to continued joint funding, for the next four years, for the National Wildlife Crime Unit. The National Wildlife Crime Unit does an exceptionally important job protecting our precious wildlife from criminal exploitation, so we are hugely relieved that at last the government has announced secure funding for the next four years. Wildlife crimes such as hare coursing, badger baiting and persecution of birds of prey, cause immense suffering and threaten some of our most treasured wild species. Given the government’s highly vocal commitment to protecting endangered wildlife internationally, it would have been absurd to withdraw funding from the NWCU, creating an open season for wildlife crime in our own backyard. The essential work of this unit deserves long-term, cross-party funding commitment, so that it does not labour under the threat of closure every few years.”
Defra and the Home Office will each provide the NWCU with funding of £136,000 a year for the next four financial years. Defra will provide an additonal (up to) £29,000 a year over the next four years for specific work to tackle wildlife crime conducted online, as a developing area of global criminal activity.