We are responsible for enforcing laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment.
Enforcement is used as a last resort but it is sometimes necessary to ensure the natural environment is protected. We aim to use enforcement in a consistent and proportionate manner that is targeted at illegal activities that have the greatest impact on wildlife, geology and landscapes.
On this page:
Our Compliance and Enforcement Position: (96kb) explains how we help people comply with the laws we are responsible for enforcing. It also outlines the general principles we follow when we need to take enforcement action.
The following Enforcement Guidance gives further details on the processes involved in taking enforcement action:
We publish annual reports on our enforcement activity:
Details of our prosecutions and use of civil sanctions listed in our Publication Scheme.
Defra have published a guide to inspections, which provides information about how, when and why government officials might inspect your farm.
We contribute to the Wildlife Law Enforcement Working Group - an expert panel which advises the Government on the UK's wildlife crime priorities.
We work with many other enforcement agencies to tackle wildlife crime. We are members of the steering group and various working groups of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime. We have a Memorandum of Understanding: (98kb) with the Countryside Council for Wales, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service. We share intelligence with the National Wildlife Crime Unit.