The charity says people need to learn more about wildlife crime and not be frightened to report wildlife crime to Sussex Police.
“Many people think Sussex Police aren’t interested in wildlife crime, but they are,” said Trevor Weeks, the founder of WRAS.
“It is well-known that those involved in wildlife crime are often involved in other illegal activities and as a result Sussex Police, like forces up and down the country, are keen to know what is going on.
“In general, wildlife crime is any action which contravenes current legislation governing the protection of the UK’s wild animals and plants and includes.
“This includes hare coursing, deer poaching, fish poaching, badger persecution including baiting, snaring, shooting, and disturbance of setts, bat persecution, egg theft and or collection, bird of prey persecution through poisoning, trapping, shooting, disturbance of nest and or theft of chicks, the illegal wildlife trade in ivory, tortoises, rhino horn and other protected species covered by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species which include caviar, traditional Chinese medicines and orchids, non registration of certain birds and animals that require licensing through DEFRA/Animal Health if kept in captivity or sold.
“WRAS gets a lot of calls from the public about people committing offences, from pest control companies illegal interfering with birds nests, to poaching of wild animals on private land, and illegal shooting or disturbance of wildlife and cruelty to wildlife.
“We have worked with Sussex Police on a number of occasions to dealing with illegally shot gulls and kicked hedgehogs, with some great results.”
WRAS is urging people to contact Sussex Police on 101 or by dialing 999 in an emergency or an offence is in progress.
“We want people to stand up and make a difference and put a stop to wildlife crime,” said Trevor.
“It is also well known that people involved in such animal cruelty and wildlife crime are often involved in other more serious crimes, like child abuse and drugs. So please take a stand as it will not just make a difference to our wildlife but to our communities too.”
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