THE campaign to secure the future of the UK's specialist National Wildlife Crime Unit has been backed by a Bolton MP.

Sir David Crausby believe it is essential to stop both illegal cruel practices at home and to tackle the international trade in endangered species.

Bolton North East Labour backbencher is one of 55 MPs of all parties to support a Parliamentary motion urging the government to give it permanent funding.

In 2016 it was on the verge of closure until ministers guaranteed it a further four years of Whitehall cash to continue its operations.

Now Sir David wants this financial deadline extended indefinitely to secure the long-term future of Britain’s world-leading police team.

He said: “The National Wildlife Crime Unit provides specialist skills, knowledge and expertise to a range of enforcement bodies, including the police and the Border Force, to protect animals here in the UK and tackle illegal wildlife trade around the world.

"It’s proven to be effective and should be given permanent status so they can plan long-term and retain expert staff.”