Crackdown on wildlife crime sees hunting equipment and guns seized

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HUNTING equipment and firearms were seized during a police operation targeted illegal poachers in Doncaster.

Wildlife Crime Officers, Special Constables and Roads Policing officers patiently waited to snare the illegal poachers and lampers in Thorne, Moorends, Skelbrooke and Barnsdale Bar, on Thursday October 15 as part of an operation to crack down on wildlife crime.

The operation, entitled Dunlin, took place just ahead of the World Animal Protection’s (WAP) Wildlife Crime campaign, supported by South Yorkshire Police, that launched on Monday, with one strand aimed at raising awareness about wildlife crime and what the charity does to tackle it.

PC Raechel Mayfield who organised and coordinated the operation, which included the assistance of Humberside Police, said: “Wildlife crime is often thought to occur abroad and in exotic places, with people killing and trading in endangered species, but this is just one type of crime and cruelty committed.

“In the UK wildlife crime offences include killing or disturbing protected species, as well as damaging breeding and resting places, poaching, coursing, and also theft or disturbance of wild animals and introducing invasive species.”

During the operation, three sets of lamping equipment, including high powered lamps, were given to officers from three separate groups who were stopped, as well as two firearms. All of the items will be destroyed.

A Subaru Forrester, containing four men and four dogs, two of which are believed to be a cross Lurcher breed typically used in coursing, was also seized under the Hunting Act 2004.

A man was also given a caution for possession of a class B drug, which was also seized.

PC Mayfield added: “The Special Constables were invaluable on the night and had some great results, as well as Road Policing Officers from both South Yorkshire and Humberside Police and the police helicopter.

“A number of enquiries are now ongoing following the results from the operation and we are determined to reduce wildlife crime in our county, to protect Landowners and Gamekeepers, reduce animal cruelty and minimise the impact of crime on the rural economy.”