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Metropolitan Police reduces wildlife crime unit
Born Free says that investment is vital for tackling wildlife crime.
Detectives are being redeployed to local crime problems.

Born Free has criticised the Metropolitan Police, after it was revealed it would be reducing the role of its Central Wildlife Crime Unit.

The wildlife conservation charity has appealed to the Metropolitan Police commissioner and the mayor of London, as detectives previously investigating wildlife crime are redeployed to cases of local crime.

Wildlife crime can include illegal hunting, animal cruelty and collecting or trading protected species. It covers crime which causes pain and suffering for animals, and may push some species closer to extinction.

These crimes can also be related to other serious crimes, including firearms offences and organised crime.

The Central Wildlife Crime Unit, formed in 2004, has worked with the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the Wildlife Trafficking team at UK Border Force. Members of the public are currently encouraged to contact the force if they believe a crime against wildlife has been committed.

Born Free says that, unchecked, wildlife crime can damage wildlife conservation and cause extreme animal suffering. It says that investment in specialised enforcement is vital to tackling these crimes.

The charity believes that the Central Wildlife Crime Unit has been an important part in tackling wildlife crime, and the reductions made to its services will make it easier for criminals to commit offences.

Dr Mark Jones, Born Free’s head of policy, said: “With the world’s wildlife in crisis, and with wildlife crime increasing across the globe, including here in the UK, the news that the Metropolitan Police plans to disband its highly effective Wildlife Crime Unit is very disturbing.”

He added: “We urge the Met Police commissioner and the mayor of London to think again.”

The Metropolitan Police were contacted for comment.

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.