Thank you for contacting me about the National Wildlife Crime Unit. I understand your concerns and agree that it is important we protect endangered animals across the world.
Both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Home Office fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit and support its work in investigating crime. The Home Office will be providing specific funding of £136,000 to support the work of the Unit in 2020/21. Under a four year funding agreement with the National Wildlife Crime Unit, Defra has contributed £165,000 a year between 2016 and 2020 to the Unit’s activities. I am pleased that the Department has committed to maintaining the Defra contribution in 2020/21. In addition, £6.3 million per year is provided to support international action to counter poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.
Funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2021 will be looked at as part of the forthcoming Spending Review.
I am strongly supportive of the National Wildlife Crime Unit and was actively involved in this issue when I was in Government. As part of our efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trade, I instigated and helped to organise an international conference in 2014 in London on the illegal wildlife trade, which was followed by further conferences in Kasane and Hanoi.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.