Voters urged to help make wildlife crime a police priority

The charity has made the call as part of a campaign it has launched today.

The League is urging voters to seek PCC candidates’ views on wildlife crime, and ask them to commit to make it a priority both locally and nationally.

Although hunting with dogs was banned in 2005, the League repeatedly receives reports from the public and its own investigators about hunts chasing and killing foxes, deer and hares. Despite the national lockdown through much of last year, a huge 300 reports relating to suspected illegal hunting were collated by the charity.

Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, and former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “It’s clear that hunting with dogs is still a huge problem in the countryside and the police need to prioritise the enforcement of the Hunting Act to bring to justice the cruel perpetrators.

“We are calling on all candidates to this election to commit to making hunting with dogs a national wildlife crime priority and to tackle animal cruelty in the countryside. Chasing wildlife with hunting dogs and literally tearing the poor animals apart has no place in a modern-day England and Wales.”

PCCs have the power to administer policing budgets in key priority areas. Making wildlife crime one of those priorities will, the League hopes, ensure police forces have the funding they need to properly enforce the law.

The elections are set against the backdrop of a recent expose in which senior members of the hunt lobby are caught on camera seeming to admit that so-called ‘trail’ hunting is a smokescreen for the chasing and killing of foxes – something the League has been saying for more than a decade.

Martin added: “Our hope is that we will see the election of candidates committed to tackling the brutal activities of the hunts and blood sports proponents which continue to blight our countryside.

“By prioritising the enforcement of the Hunting Act, we can take the steps needed to bring an end to fox hunting once and for all and consign this cruelty to the history books.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email pressoffice@league.org.uk

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

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