Our Work: Wildlife Trafficking

Our Work: Wildlife Trafficking

Wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, is an enormous threat to animal species worldwide. It is estimated that the legal wildlife trade is worth at least $300 billion annually, while illegal wildlife trafficking is worth perhaps $20 billion each year. The United States is one of the largest consumers of both. Wildlife trade takes many forms: sophisticated criminal networks transporting ivory and rhino horn across continents, individuals poaching endangered species for bush meat, wealthy Americans hunting threatened species in Africa in order to show off a trophy in their homes, collectors decimating exotic species so that humans can keep its members as pets, and zoos or aquariums taking species such as beluga whales from the wild in order to display them to customers. But whether it is legal or illegal, sophisticated or simple, wildlife trade inflicts harm on innumerable animals and threatens the viability of species. Wild animals don’t deserve to be traded; they deserve to know autonomy and live their fullest lives free from human interference.

Wildlife Trafficking News:

Senators Portman and Coons introduce The Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Reauthorization and Improvements Act of 2020.

Only 9% of reptiles traded are protected under CITES, while approximately 4,000 species remain actively exploited. 

Seven individuals charged for flying squirrel trafficking in Florida.

Vermont bans sale of ivory and imperiled wildlife parts, read the story here!

California ban of alligator-sourced ‘goods’ unenforced while lawsuit remains active.

3D printed sea turtle eggs crack open poaching routes.

Exotic pet trade fuels poaching of flying squirrels in Florida.

Report finds U.S. imported over 23 million wild animals and wild animal parts, within a five year period. 

Covid-19 lockdowns cause for decrease of South African rhino poaching.

Illegally captured reptiles and amphibians legally traded in EU. 

Pause in Bolivian jaguar seizures sounds alarm for investigations into new trafficking methods.

Time is of the essence! New app designed to ease reporting of wildlife crimes under development.

$8 million seized from Florida ‘front’ company busted for illegal shark fin trade between Mexico, U.S., and China.

Congo reaches milestone with first ‘criminal conviction’ for wildlife trafficking: A poacher responsible for 500 elephant deaths and illegally trading ivory, has been sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Experts look to genetic data to identify trafficking ‘hot spots,’ as well as reintroduction sites for chimpanzees.

A new guide has been developed as a tool for the identification of illegal ivory. Read more here!

Another important, but all too common report on the extent of wildlife trafficking. This one is out of Brazil, one of the largest illegal markets in the world. Please support Friends of Animals in its fight against the commercialization of wild animals.

A study shows that wildlife trade increases the infection rate of coronaviruses in animals.

COVID-19 either leapt from animals to humans or first spread to multiple humans at a wet market in Wuhan, China. Experts widely agree that in order to prevent the next coronavirus, the world must stop the trade in wildlife.

Friends of Animals has been active calling for international organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization to shut down wet markets worldwide and lobbying Congress for legislation that would ban wet markets.

Pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world, highly desired in Asia for their scales and meat. They’re known carriers of the coronavirus and may have spread it to humans.

Friends of Animals 2019 Petition re Import of African Elephants SUBMITTED the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to amend its regulations and restrict the importation of live African elephants to zoos.

Federal judge orders government to reconsider listing the queen conch, imperiled because of high demand for their meat, for protection under the Endangered Species Act after Friends of Animals files lawsuit.

CITES votes to prohibit most trade of live African elephants to zoos.

Luxury fashion brands have had thousands of illegally obtained wildlife products seized by the federal government.

The United Kingdom moves to curb trophy hunting by prohibiting the imports of trophies of threatened species.