Posted on May 30, 2018
The Defence Secretary met several personnel at West Midlands Safari Park today as they prepare to deploy to East Africa next month. The personnel met zoological experts at the park, which works with conservation bodies to help protect threatened species such as African elephants.
Mr Williamson said: “Our Armed Forces are a force for good around the world and are at the forefront of protecting the world’s most endangered species from criminal gangs. This evil trade is worth £17 billion and poses an existential threat to the planet’s most majestic mammals – it is our duty to preserve them for future generations. Britain is leading the way in putting an end to barbaric illegal wildlife poaching, and I’m proud of the immense contribution our Armed Forces are making in stopping criminals’ profiteering from the slaughter of rhinos and elephants. The Government is also introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory, showing how seriously we take this issue.”
A specialist team of two dozen troops, drawn from a variety of British Army units, will spend weeks working alongside park rangers passing on expertise in areas such as tracking and counter insurgency tactics built up in previous operational tours in countries including Afghanistan.