‘Report wildlife crime to police’

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A new campaign aimed at raising awareness of wildlife crime in East Yorkshire is encouraging residents to report such incidents to the police.

Humberside Police with charities Crime stoppers and World Animal Protection Wildlife, are working together to stop cruelty against animals, which have come under attack the form of trapping, hare coursing and illegal hunting.

A police spokesperson said: “Wildlife crime is diverse and happens everywhere, including cities. Hare coursing is just one form of illegal poaching that takes place all over the UK but specifically affects the Humberside Police area.

“Trapped and terrified: hare coursing involves a wild animal brutally killed for money & entertainment.”

The blood sport involves greyhounds chase down hairs andin 2004, The Hunting Act made hare coursing illegal and anyone convicted of the offence can be fined up to £5,000 by a Magistrates’ Court.

However the force is not only targeting hare coarsers, but also deer and badger poachers who often use 4x4 vehicles, dogs and firearms when for animal cruelty.

“Suspicious looking road kill or the discovery of bait, traps and snares indicate poaching,” the spokesperson continued.

Laws are also in place to protect Britain’s avian life and Humberside Police take a tough stance against those who may compromise birds’ well bring.

“Walking or working in a known nesting area, heather burning or use of machinery is bird disturbance - it is a wildlife crime” The police spokesperson said.

The law also states that is illegal to kill, steal or injure any wild bird,take or damage the nest of any wild bird whilst in use or being built.

Egg collecting can also carry a serious penalty and the RSPB said: “Anyone that chooses to be in possession of eggs is obliged to show, on a balance of probabilities, that their possession is lawful.

“For persons found guilty of any of these offences, Magistrates have the power to impose maximum sentences of £5,000 fine and/or six month’s imprisonment per egg.”

Bats are in decline in the UK and there are only 16 species left and some are very rare. The law protecting bats is similar to that which protects birds.

Harming a bat, damaging or destroying a roost can carry a £5,000 penalty and up to six months in prison.

For more information on wildlife crime and how to report it, visit the National Wildlife Crime Unit’s website at www.nwcu.police.uk.

Alternatively call Crime Stoppers anoymously on 0800 555 111.