UK Military To Develop Anti-Poaching Force With £900k Of New Funding

The new government funding will be used next year.

UK personnel deployed to Malawi earlier this year to train local park rangers (Picture: Crown Copyright).

A new British military counter-poaching task force is to be developed after £900,000 of funding was announced by the UK Government.

The new funding will be used next year and will see the Army deployed to train African park rangers in more effective counter-poaching techniques.

This year Army personnel deployed to two national parks in Malawi to teach local rangers intelligence, tracking and medical techniques.

In deployments that began in May troops worked across two sites with rangers in the Nkhotakota and Majete Wildlife Reserves.

Training carried out by the British Army in Gabon and Malawi during 2018 has led to 84 Ecoguards being trained in Gabon, which will double by the end of the year, and 120 rangers partnered in Malawi.

How British veterans have worked with anti-poaching units in South Africa

Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson said: "The training we already provide has made a significant difference to the protection of some of the planet’s most magnificent wildlife.

"As the British Army now takes its world-renowned training further across Africa, those responsible for this abhorrent practice should be looking over their shoulders."

Major James Cowen, who led the deployment in Malawi, said: "Having seen the beauty of these animals up close, and how at risk their survival is due to poaching, we are more determined than ever to stop these criminals in their tracks."

Planning is currently ongoing to identify countries and parks across the region with which the British Army will partner and assist over the next year.