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Save wildlife police; COMMENT & DEBATE YOUR LETTERS TO THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF WALES.

SIR - The illegal wildlife trade is a big problem for many of the world's most vulnerable species it's the fifth largest global illegal trade after drugs, counterfeiting, human trafficking and oil.

In fact it's second only to habitat destruction as a cause of species loss and potential extinction.

This is also an issue close to home, with trafficking of illegal wildlife products taking place in the UK and across our borders. Most shockingly, one of the world's largest seizures of rhino horn was in London. Other recent incidents have involved the trade in elephant ivory, tiger claws, tortoises, turtles and whale bone.

In order to tackle this massive rise in wildlife trade, the last Labour Government set up the National Wildlife Crime Unit to work with border police and other police forces worldwide to detect and prevent wildlife crime in the UK.

Its 15 members of staff have doubled the recorded conviction rate for cases in recent years and helped the UK gain international recognition for its commitment to tackling wildlife crime.

But alas it's now at risk. The National Wildlife Crime Unit has guaranteed government funding until March next year. We need Westminster Government ministers and MPs of all parties to recognise the vital role that this small unit does in protecting our wildlife.

Please take a few moments to write, e-mail, telephone or talk in person to your local MP to ask him or her to support the work of this vital wildlife police unit.

Please do not leave it to someone else to do our wildlife needs your help now. ROB CURTIS Councillor, Vale of Glamorgan council, Barry
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 22, 2012
Words:271
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