Wildlife Crime

Wildlife Crime is any act that is made illegal in Scotland under legislation with regard to certain birds, animals and plants including their habitats, both on land and at sea and includes:


  • Hare Coursing
  • Deer poaching
  • Fish poaching
  • Badger persecution – including baiting, snaring, shooting, and disturbance of setts
  • Bat persecution
  • Egg theft / collection
  • Bird of Prey persecution – through poisoning, trapping, shooting, disturbance of nest and/or theft of chicks
  • The trade in ivory, tortoises, rhino horn and other protected species covered by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) including caviar, Traditional Chinese Medicines, and orchids)what IS NOT wildlife crime?

Wildlife Crime is not about:

  • Domestic animals,
  • Livestock,
  • Stray dogs,
  • Dangerous dogs,
  • Licensing of dangerous wild animals (contact your local authority),
  • Injured domestic birds or animals (you can contact the SSPCA for more information).

Call Police Scotland on 101 to report a wildlife crime send an email

However, crimes against these animals are still taken very seriously and you should get in touch with Police Scotland if you come across such crime.

Wildlife Crime Liaison Officers

Although any officer can investigate wildlife crime, every Division in Police Scotland has a Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer and there are also a network of part time Wildlife Crime Officers across the force.

These officers can be contacted to report crime or to seek advice on wildlife crime matters.

You can learn more about what wildlife crime is and what the UK priorities are in relation to wildlife crime on the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit website.

Click here to learn How to Report Wildlife Crime