On 15th November many people in the UK will have the chance to vote for their new Police and Crime Commissioner. These new positions will allow the elected commissioner to decide future police funding and priorities.
A new campaign launched by Lush Campaigns and the Hunt Saboteurs Association, designed by the great folk at Supercool, aims to help voters understand issues surrounding wildlife crime and simplify the process of contacting candidates to ensure they are aware of the importance voters place on animal welfare.
Although there are many issues to take into consideration when electing a new Police Commissioner, there is no reason that wildlife crime should not play a significant role. There has been a ban on hunting with hounds since 2004, yet inadequate enforcement of the law means that hunting regularly takes place and many of the associated problems still remain. Problems extend beyond hunting operating in violation of the law, as the Wildlife Crime Unit struggles with the volume of crime under its remit, including the illegal trade in endangered species, badger baiting, snaring, and rare egg theft.
It is not just human members of our society that deserve the protection of the law. Having a police force which places value on protecting our natural environment and contributes to a sustainable future where endangered species are protected, not sold, is an important consideration for our future.
The campaign by Lush and the Hunt Saboteurs Association has combined simple, informative functionality with a fun, inclusive edge. Visitors to the campaign site can not only find and write to their Police Commissioner candidates with a pre-written letter, but they can also join the 'Foxy Force', which includes a downloadable social media toolkit for helping spread the word. The pre-written letters to candidates highlight the 76% of people who support the ban on fox hunting and the 84% who support bans on deer and stag hunting along with hare coursing and hunting.
These issues matter.
You've got two weeks to get in contact with your candidates and encourage them to take a view on wildlife crime before the election, so please visit the campaign site and share your findings.