Thursday 10 March 2016

EU referendum: Brexit will diminish UK's ability to combat international wildlife crime, says environment minister

'From outside our influence and our ability to act would be diminished'

Charlie Cooper Whitehall Correspondent 
Thursday 3 March 2016

The UK’s ability to combat international wildlife crime and the illegal trade of animal parts will be “diminished” if we leave the EU, the Government has claimed.

Environment minister Rory Stewart said the country had more influence within and beyond Europe because of its membership, placing it in a better position to lobby over issues such as lion trophy hunting and the ivory trade.

“The UK is recognised as a world leader in tackling wildlife crime and it is an issue we have tirelessly campaigned on from within Europe,” Mr Stewart said at the Save Wildlife Conference at the Hague. “From outside our influence and our ability to act would be diminished,”

 “The heartless actions of poachers and organised criminals threaten to wipe out some of the world’s most iconic wild animals and damage our planet’s ecosystem beyond repair – all for personal gain,” he added.

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