Wildlife Crime

Wildlife laws are in place to protect nature; these laws operate at UK and European levels. Read below what constitutes a wildlife crime and how you can report it.

What is wildlife crime?

Wildlife crime includes:

killing protected species
disturbing protected species
damaging the breeding and resting places of protected species
illegally trading in endangered species

How to report

If you suspect that a wildlife crime has been committed, call 101, the non-emergency number. If you're unsure whether an act constitutes wildlife crime, seek advice from a legal professional or specialist organisation. Many police forces have Wildlife Officers, whilst statutory bodies such as DEFRA and Natural England, may also be able to help.

Be aware that you should always seek qualified legal advice if you are seeking to avoid prosecution or intending to bring a prosecution.



The Wildlife Trusts is a member of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAWS UK). PAWS UK helps statutory and non-government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime.

Find out more
European Legislation
International Conventions
Wildlife Crime Aware


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Staffordshire Police Rural and Wildlife Crime Unit (RWCU)371.05 KB