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How to report Wildlife Crime in Northern Ireland, Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, Northern Ireland,  PAW NI, animal welfare,

PAW Objectives

Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime NI (PAW NI) brings together statutory, non-statutory agencies & interested parties with the common goal of combating wildlife crime through publicity, education and campaigning.

PAW NI takes a lead in considering strategic issues concerned with combating wildlife;

Members link with the PSNI Wildlife Liaison Officer and other key enforcement agencies;

A forum to facilitate the exchange of information, expertise on wildlife enforcement between all the members involved;

Working to increase public awareness of key issues associated with combating wildlife crime; 

Raising the profile of wildlife crime within the judiciary & statutory agencies;

Promoting and encourage the use of and research into forensic technologies.  

PAW NI is a member of PAW UK 

Badger Picture, wildlife crime, badger baiting, crime, PAW NI
How to report Wildlife Crime in Northern Ireland, PAW NI, Watch Out for Wildlife Crime,


The PAW NI Raptor Subgroup tells a tale about a poisoned buzzard in County Fermanagh - make sure to click the sound on to hear the story.  

July 2023 - Police investigate poisoning of two white-tailed eagles

Police are appealing for information from the public, after the confirmed poisoning of two white-tailed eagles.







Police investigating the circumstances following the discovery of two dead white-tailed eagles, in the Glenhead Road area of Ballymena on Monday, 15th May, can confirm the birds were subsequently poisoned.  Following a post-mortem examination, both birds tested positive for the insecticide bendiocarb.

How the birds came into contact with the insecticide remains part of an ongoing investigation, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to
working with partners and members of the public to determine how the birds consumed the toxic insecticide.

Rural and Wildlife Crime Superintendent Johnston McDowell said: “Sadly, police can confirm the two majestic birds found on land in the Glenhead Road area were poisoned, following a post-mortem examination.
  "The test results suggest that an individual not only has access to the insecticide bendiocarb but has placed this into the outside environment illegally, so that wild birds have been able to consume it.  “Bendiocarb is present in the trade product Ficam D, a powder which is only permitted for indoor use to control crawling insects such as wasps and ants, so using this active ingredient in fields would be a breach of Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR).  

“The illegal killing of these beautiful birds in a popular rural area is disgraceful, and for any individual to think that they can ignore the law and lay poisonous bait which has led to the killing of these birds, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  “Officers with support from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, have been on the ground conducting house-to-house enquiries, engaging with local residents and landowners, in the areas of where the birds were gravitating towards, before they were found deceased.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland will continue to work with our partners to tackle this criminal activity, investigate any reports made to us and prosecute offenders. In this case we have liaised with our partners in the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAWNI) Agri-Food and Biosciences, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, NI Raptor Study Group, Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and received additional support from the National Wildlife Crime Unit. Police have a strong multi-agency support group which we are very grateful for, but we need the help of the public too.

“There must be people in the community who are aware of individuals committing these offences, and who can come forward and assist police with any information they have

“If you notice any suspicious activity in rural areas, notice a dead or injured bird of prey, please call police on 101, or alternatively you can make a report via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via


Operation Lepus  - Police have welcomed an outcome at Ballymena Magistrates Court on May 13th to impose a five year Anti-Social Behavior Order (ASBO) on three individuals who were causing continued annoyance, alarm and distress to the farming community in Co. Antrim.


Supt. Michael Simpson said, “This is the culmination of a PSNI led investigation, which was supported by the council and Glenwherry Regeneration Partnership, landowners and farmers in the area. This has been a successful outcome for the Op Lepus initiative, which aimed to tackle local concerns around wildlife crime in the area.  "ASBOs are an important addition to the range of statutory responses already available to tackle anti-social behaviour, in other words, they are another tool in the box of measures at our disposal to tackle this issue. And, in this particular case, it will mean these  three individuals are now banned from using this land for any purpose.  Police will now have a power of arrest for breach of a court order.”


“AN APPALLING act of cruelty” has led to a Rathfriland man being handed a jail sentence as a judge said his actions were “something from the Middle Ages”.

Paul Michael Reavey, 53, of Lisnaree Road, near Shinn, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a Patterdale Terrier.

The judge said what transpired on the day of the offence was “something which shouldn’t be happening but it does when people like you are baiting badgers”.

The case had been going to contest at Newry Magistrates’ Court but after Reavey indicated he would plead guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering, a second charge of damaging or destroying a shelter of a wild animal, namely a badger’s sett, was withdrawn by the prosecution.

The judge sentenced Reavey to four months in prison and fined him £750, also disqualifying him from keeping an animal for the next 10 years.

Reavey’s defence then immediately lodged an appeal against the sentence and he was released on bail of £500 until an appeal hearing could be held.

Source: The County Down Outlook






Operation Brockwatch - PAW Partners USPCA and NI Badger Group - monitor previously known badger baiting hotspots with CCTV and high visibility signage.  

On the strength of the report indicating a continuous problem with badger baiting in Northern Ireland - six setts were chosen to be watched, during the period of the operation none of the setts were damaged.  The team are encouraged by the results and plan to quickly expand the number of areas being monitored.  See BBC NI broadcast here

European Badger copyright J Lees

PAW NI note high levels of nest disturbance by wildlife photographers in Northern Ireland during lockdown.  Whether its people with more time on their hands to take and upload photos or a very pleasant warm Spring we have seen loads of lovely wildlife images online.  However an alarming number of these have been taken very close to nest structures potentially causing disturbance.  We would remind you that all nesting birds are protected under the terms of the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985.  Planned or prolonged visits to nest sites must have an appropriate wildlife licence from the NIEA.  Nest locations should not be shared or published online.  Time spent at nest sites should be a minimum even under licence.  PAW will be addressing this problem in time for next season in the meantime NIEA guidance can be found here.   

The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 -In line with Defra, and the other devolved administrations, the Department has introduced new domestic legislation to fulfil its obligations under the EU Regulation.  The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019(external link opens in a new window / tab) makes provision for criminal offences relating to breaches of requirements of the EU Regulation.  The Order comes into operation on 1st December 2019.  

‘Undisturbed’- NWCU launches campaign to educate wildlife photographers and drone pilots

The affordability of modern digital camera technology has produced an ever-growing interest in capturing photographs of wildlife. A number of leading UK wildlife photographers and charitable organisations have now expressed concern at the amount of wildlife disturbance being caused by prospective photographers seeking natural history subjects. Unlicensed disturbance of mammals and birds may result in a conviction under wildlife or marine legislation attracting sentences up to £5,000 fine or 6 month’s imprisonment. Tweeting under the handle @ukwildlifecrime the NWCU have a summer of messages to help spread the word.  PAW NI have recently linked this website to the NIEA's guidance for photographers here.  


Useful Links

Useful links

Animal Welfare -

The Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 is enforced by three bodies, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Councils and the PSNI.

DAERA is responsible for farmed animals (any animal bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or for other farming purposes). The Department also licenses riding establishments, boarding kennels, pet shops and zoos. Tel: 0300 200 7840

Councils are responsible for enforcement in respect of non-farmed animals i.e. domestic pets and equines (e.g. horses and donkeys etc).  For all domestic (pet) animal welfare enquires please contact your local council - numbers and email addresses are linked here

The PSNI are responsible for wildlife crime, animal fighting and incidents involving wild animals such as badger baiting, poisoning of birds and trapping wildlife illegally. Tel: 101 or see above.

Bats - For information and advice on how to deal with problem bats in the home contact CEDaR Tel: 02890395264 or visit the NI Bat Groups website here.  
For information about bats and your legal obligations; bats and development or bat roosts protection during household maintenance contact the NIEA for advice 02890569551 or email

Invasive species - one of the greatest threats to our native species and biodiversity - its a criminal offence to cause to spread any non-native plant or animal into the wild in Northern Ireland.  Many non-native species are well established across NI and causing harm to our environment - further information  and management advice to help landowners manage the problems can be found on the Invasive Species Ireland website here


PAW Ireland with similar aims and objectives of the PAW UK groups full details and contacts here

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