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:

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.