World Animal Protection are asking people to urgently step up and take action for wildlife in the UK.
As highlighted on What the Cat Dragged In (via IFAW) last month, the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) is at risk. Despite it being one of the world’s leading wildlife crime units, its funding is due to run out in March.
World Animal Protection is now asking people to email their MP and urge them to save the NWCU. We need them to demand that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Home Office continue to fund this vital unit.
Wildlife crime is abundant across the UK with animals being harmed and persecuted. Animals are hunted, smuggled, butchered for their body parts or kept alive in order to be sold on. The NWCU is absolutely critical in the fight against wildlife criminals. Without them, wild animals will be at a much greater risk of suffering cruelty.
The NWCU is a world-leading police unit dedicated to supporting wildlife crime investigations and fundamental to providing and analysing national wildlife crime intelligence across the UK. Without them, a huge number of wildlife crime cases would not be successfully investigated or prosecuted. Right now, the NWCU’s future is in doubt as their funding comes to an end in March 2016. In 2014 they were granted 2 years funding; but previous to that they had to fight to stay open every single year. This endless cycle of uncertainty has been a huge drain on their resources.
Chief Inspector Martin Sims, Head of the NWCU, has recently commented that “if we don’t secure funding, the unit will fold”. Defra and the Home Office are currently considering the future of the NWCU and will decide soon if they will be given long term funding. We have to make sure this happens. World Animal Protection is calling on the UK Government to fully-fund this vital unit for at least 5 years. This is the same amount of time that Governments have in their terms, and would give the NWCU the stability and vote of confidence that they so urgently need.