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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,


3 New PAW NI leaflets
PAW NI has published two brand new leaflets providing advice on Drone/UAVs use and on Wildlife Photography.  A third leaflet on Coastal Wildlife crime had been previously published by the PSNI has been updated and converted into the PAW NI brand.  You can find these leaflets on this website.  


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- Eel trafficking also influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.  
Between November 2020 and June 2021, Europol coordinated the fifth Operation Lake, which involved law enforcement authorities from 24* countries, OLAF, the EU Wildlife Enforcement Group and the EU Food Fraud Network. This Europe-wide annual operation targets the trafficking of the protected European eel (Anguilla Anguilla) species, which has seen its population decrease by 90 % in recent years.

Operation Lake V led to:
58 000+ inspections across Europe
52 arrests
Seizures including:
387 kg of glass eels and 25 kg of adult eels valued at about EUR 1.241 million
Cars, boats and other assets.


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 Goes International!! - PAW Ireland is launched 

A new PAW style group has been launched in Republic of Ireland mirroring that found in the UK.  Speaking at the virtual launch of PAW Ireland, Paul Gallagher, Secretary of PAW Ireland said: “PAW Ireland is a positive move. It’s the creation of a forum of organisations uniting and working together to tackle wildlife crime in Ireland. A crime against nature is a crime; the Wildlife Crime Reporting app will help facilitate reporting of suspicious activities. PAW Ireland is here to support the Irish authorities to tackle the problem of wildlife crime. We are in the early stages of this initiative and would love to hear from any groups who would like to join PAW Ireland”  You can learn more about PAW Ireland here.  

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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