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AWIP Attends Key PAW Forum in London: Calls for Stronger Action Against Wildlife Crime

The Animal Welfare Investigations Project (AWIP) proudly attended the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Forum in London, underscoring the urgent need for stronger measures against wildlife crime.

The PAW Forum, a collaboration of UK statutory and non-governmental organisations, aims to reduce wildlife crime by raising awareness of wildlife legislation, providing help and advice on regulatory issues, and ensuring wildlife crime is tackled effectively.

Organised by the PAW Group and the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), the forum’s conference was held at the Zoological Society of London on Tuesday 9 July. It brought together attendees from across the country, including police officers, enforcement agencies, academics, government officials, and NGO representatives from the wildlife protection and animal welfare sector, including the Animal Welfare Investigations Project.

AWIP acknowledges the invaluable efforts of the PAW Group and the National Wildlife Crime Unit in addressing wildlife crime. We are committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to enhance and support these initiatives.

The conference covered a number of key areas including the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, how Border Force is tackling wildlife crime, and the efforts of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in combating the illegal wildlife trade worldwide.

The conference featured in-depth discussions and showcased several case studies that highlighted the critical role of specialised units in combating wildlife crime. These case studies vividly illustrated the complexities and challenges faced by enforcement agencies, further emphasising the necessity for robust, dedicated units like the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit.

AWIP believes that the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit has been instrumental in investigating and prosecuting wildlife crimes. The disbandment of this unit undermines the progress made and leaves a critical gap in the protection of wildlife.

Jacob Lloyd, AWIP’s Executive Director, expressed profound disappointment at the recent decision by the Metropolitan Police to disband the Wildlife Crime Unit, a crucial investigative unit in the fight against wildlife crime.

“We are deeply concerned that organised crime groups are heavily involved in wildlife crime, exploiting vulnerable species for profit. The disbandment of the Wildlife Crime Unit is a significant step backward in our efforts to protect wildlife,” said Jacob Lloyd.

“The case studies presented at the conference clearly demonstrated the effectiveness and importance of the Wildlife Crime Unit. We urgently call on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to reverse this decision and reinstate the Wildlife Crime Unit. Their expertise and dedication are vital in our ongoing battle to safeguard wildlife from illegal activities.”

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