A charity shouldn't need to fund important crime fighting work: The Wildlife Crime Unit
I recently attended an event run by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), they are calling for London’s mayoral candidates to pledge to properly resource London’s specialist wildlife cops.
So sad. These tiger cubs, just a few days old, were found in Islington.
Robbed of life to end up as an ornament.
It is a scandal that WSPA has had to use its funds to sponsor the Met’s specialist Wildlife Crime Unit with a £100,000 donation. WSPA quite rightly fears that wildlife crime may flourish in the capital unless a long-term commitment is made to tackle the problem.
London is a major hub for the illegal wildlife trade with the Metropolitan Police seizing over 30,000 endangered species items since 1995. In 2008 the Metropolitan Police seized thousands of pounds worth of raw ivory products, some manufactured in the UK, which included 24 whole elephant tusks and the world’s largest seizure of rhino horn (including 129 individual horns) was in Kensington, London.
This isn't just a small niche crime, hardened criminal gangs are involved and drug loads, gangs and terrorists are all growing rich from this awful trade; while animals are suffering horribly and species are on the brink of extinction.
On the day of the event it was announced that some plastic Olympic rings had been floated on the Thames, these apparently cost £900,00. So its not that the money isn't there, its just about priorities. With WSPA's research showing that 93% of UK respondents rated the work of the Wildlife Crime Unit as quite or very important the public will be shocked that the current Mayor has let this situation arise.
Hear me talking about this issue and how wildlife crime is also occuring closer to home: