…But Is Unwilling To Find £427,000 To Fund National Wildlife Crime Unit
The Badger Trust has today criticised the government’s failure to commit to funding the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), which plays a key role in helping tackle badger persecution.
Despite widespread protests from leading conservationists, wildlife protection charities and MP’s across the political spectrum, Britain’s world-leading police unit dedicated to tackling wildlife crime at home and abroad, is facing closure at the end of March.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit has had to fight to maintain funding for a number of years and was only saved at the last minute in 2014, as a result of securing new funding from DEFRA and the Home Office.
Commenting on the imminent closure of the NWCU the CEO of the Badger Trust, Dominic Dyer, said:
“This government has wasted over £23 million killing mostly health badgers in a disastrous culling policy which has failed on scientific and humaneness grounds. Despite this huge expense, they refuse to commit less than £0.5 million to save the National Wildlife Crime Unit.
Following a meeting with the Badger Trust in April 2015, the DEFRA Secretary of State Liz Truss confirmed to me that badger persecution was a UK national wildlife crime priority, but this commitment rings hollow with the expected closure of the police unit, which plays such a key part in protecting badgers against wildlife criminals”
Responding to the possible closure of the NWCU the Chairman of the Badger Trust, Peter Martin, said:
“Wildlife is a fundamental part of British life and, as a nation, we are famous, the world over, for our care and conservation principles. This failure to protect our National Wildlife Crime Unit will be seen as a national disgrace and sends an appalling message to those sections of society that delight in or profit from the suffering of all kinds of animals.
Despite its protected status we are already seeing an alarming increase in badger persecution incidents as a result of the demonisation of badgers by the farming lobby and the government’s policy on culling, most of which is going unreported. This is another example of a thoughtless, ideologically driven political initiative that will push wildlife crime prevention onto individual police forces at a time when their own budgets are being cut and will likely end up costing more than they are hoping to save. And all this will be achieved at the expense of untold suffering not just to badgers but all our country’s animals.
For more information, please contact Dominic Dyer on 07876 596233 or email[email protected]
Badger Trust, P.O. Box 708, East Grinstead, RH19 2WN
Registered charity No. 1111440
Company Registered in the UK No. 5460677