Home / Information & Advice / Issues with Deer / Poaching and Wildlife Crime Poaching and Wildlife CrimeAs many as 50,000 deer are killed every year by poachers, often using dogs to attack deer at night. This is a lucrative business for organised crime gangs and thieves benefitting from the proceeds of crime. Photo by: Tom StreeterCHECKLIST ABOUT POACHING Poachers have little regard for the deer or the law often employing cruel and illegal methods, and leaving wounded or orphaned animals behind them.These criminals can leave the public, farmers and landowners feeling scared and intimidated. Incidents often see offenders trespassing with firearms, shooting at an unclear target and against an unknown backstop. Considerable damage may also be caused to crops, property and other agricultural interests in the process.In addition, dogs may also be used to chase and attack deer as well as the use of cruel snares and traps.The amount of under-reporting of poaching and other rural crime means that it is important that anyone living in, working in, or simply visiting the countryside, reports all incidents.If you see or are aware poaching is happening or any other rural crime, call 999 at the time. Otherwise, use the 101 non-emergency number to report incidents. What to do if you suspect poaching If you see or become aware poaching is happening call the police. If you are being threatened or damage is being caused, or if you believe there is a danger to the public, then it is urgent and 999 should be used. Otherwise, use the 101 non-emergency number to report incidents. Give the call taker as much information as you have, such as vehicles used, how many offenders, do they have firearms, etc. Give the best description of the location as you can, especially at night. The most important thing is to get an incident or log number for what you are reporting. This will ensure that the incident is included in poaching statistics. You may be told that there is nobody to send immediately, but insist on the incident/log number. Ask for the incident to be forwarded to the Wildlife Crime Officer and the local beat officer. It is a good idea to do this whether police attend or not. Tell the call taker that this is a wildlife crime and needs to be recorded as such. This makes it easier to monitor the number of poaching offences and, hence, the true picture will emerge. To report a rural crime contact your neighbourhood policing team or specialist wildlife crime police officer. Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or if the crime is in progress.Call 101 to contact the police if the crime is not an emergency.You can also contact Crimestoppers to report a crime anonymously and they will pass the information on to the police. Visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call 0800 555111.The British Deer Society actively campaigns against poaching and rural crime. Support our work by making a donation or becoming a member today!