Why two recent prosecutions have sparked concern over bat crime penalties

Crimes against bats are the second most common wildlife crime. Catherine Early investigates campaigners’ concerns that penalties are not strong enough to discourage some developers from carrying out unlicenced work on their sites after bats were found to be present

Soprano pipistrelle
Pipistrelle bat: all species of bat in England and Wales are protected

Sentencing on two separate cases of crimes against bats handed down within a fortnight of each other highlight the very different outcomes such cases can have. The first resulted in fines of £4,000 for each of three counts of roost destruction, and a confiscation order for £5,285 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, while the second saw a fine of just £300.

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