Magistrates’ Association beefs up sentencing guidelines for wildlife crimes

The new Magistrates’ Association toolkit for the first time includes guidance on sentencing wildlife and conservation crimes.

Launched last November by Environment Minister Michael Meacher, it covers many aspects of environmental crime and provides advice to magistrates.

“Environmental crime needs to be taken very seriously, and the penalties for environmental offences need to fully reflect the damage caused by the crime,” said Meacher.

The sentencing guidelines focus on wildlife crimes committed under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations, which govern the trade of rare species such as tigers and elephants in the UK, as well as the Customs and Excise Manage-ment Act 1979 and the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
Magistrates’ Association chairman Harry Mawdsley said: “We’ve recognised that the sentences for environmental crimes imposed by magistrates play a key role in protecting the environment.”