Both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Home Office fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit and support its work in investigating crime. I am aware that the Home Office will be providing specific funding of £136,000 to support the work of the Unit in 2020/21. Under a four-year funding agreement with the National Wildlife Crime Unit, Defra has contributed £165,000 a year between 2016 and 2020 to the Unit’s activities. I am pleased that the Department has committed to maintaining the Defra contribution in 2020/21. This will be in addition to the funding central Government will be providing police forces in England and Wales to tackle all types of crime, including wildlife crime.
As I understand it, funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2021 will be looked at as part of the forthcoming Spending Review.
I would like to reassure you that the Government takes wildlife crime in the UK, as well as abroad, very seriously. I am pleased that up to £6.3 million per year is provided to support international action to counter poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.