Wildlife crime is any activity that goes against legislation protecting the UK's wild animals and plants. It can cause pain and suffering to animals, push species closer to extinction, and can be linked to other serious crimes like firearms offences and organised crime.
Wildlife law is complicated and it can be hard to know whether something is a crime and whether, or when, to involve the police.
collection of or trade in protected species and animal products
not registering animals which require a licence
taking protected plants
use of poisons, snares or explosives to kill or injure animals
hunting with dogs
introducing invasive species
killing or capturing, damaging or destroying the habitat of any protected animal
If a crime is happening or someone is in danger, call 999. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
We’d rather you contacted us and we investigate, than not hear from you.
If you come across animals loose on the road and there’s a danger to traffic, call 999. If you have a hearing or speech impairment use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
Road traffic incidents involving large animals
You must tell the police immediately if you hit a:
You should also tell the police if you hit a deer.
Call 999 if somebody is hurt or the animal is in the road.
Call 101 if there is no danger. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service on 18001 101.
Road traffic incidents involving small animals
If you hit and kill a wild animal, you must leave it safely by the roadside and notify the local council so they can remove the remains. Some wild animals are protected and it is an offence to possess one, dead or alive.
If you hit and injure a wild animal and you can't take it to a vet immediately or safely, you need to contact us on 101, as allowing a wild animal to suffer is an offence. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service on 18001 101.
Other crimes involving animals
We work with the RSPCA to investigate animal cruelty. To report cruelty, neglect or abuse, you can go to the RSPCA's website or call them on 0300 1234 999 (lines open 24 hours a day).
Incidents involving dogs, either a dog that's out of control in a public place, a breed of dog that's been banned or dog fighting, must be reported to us online.