Illegal sales of endangered species

A friend of mine, fellow animal lover, recently sent me a message about this story and said she thought I might want to spread the word about it. Sure enough, I read it and thought, well if I didn’t know that there is still such a large illegal sales of animals online, then I can’t be the only one.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare conducted a 6 week study across 100 online marketplaces in the UK, France, Germany and Russia. They found more than 5,000 adverts adding to over £3 million for over 12,000 items. ALL of these items were banned or restricted by the global convention International Trade in Endangered Species. This figure, although massive, is less than in previous years, however, there is still much more work to be done to eradicate this issue.

Many of these adverts were for live animals like leopards, cheetahs, orangutans and many more. Among these were also adverts for big cat and bear skins.

Why is this bad?
Because these animals have been illegally taken from their homes, their families, not cared for and sold for who knows what purpose. The skins have been illegally made from again, poor defenseless animals, all to be sold for profit. The people selling them don’t care about the animals’ welfare or rights. These animals deserve to live in the wild, with their families and live for as long as they can.

Here’s a few things we can all do to help try and rid the world of illegal animal/ wildlife trade:

  1. Check certifications. If you see any endangered species being sold or advertised, report it! Spread the word! Get it shut down. I’ve heard that WildLeaks allows you to anonymously report wildlife crimes and make concrete actions out of your reports.
  2. Buy products that are certified as sustainable. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) provides a logo to products based on its global forest certification system. Items with the logo or FSC approved show that they are:
    – Produced from recycled materials or from areas that are well managed
    – Trees that are cut are replanted
    – Workers are paid fairly
    – Any indigenous people in the area are regarded and not disturbed
    Find out more about the FSC here.
  3. Buy fish from sustainable sources. As mentioned in a previous post of mine, “Earth Day” (Click here to read) I mentioned that over-fishing is a problem for our oceans and is responsible for the depletion of fish species. If we buy fish from sustainable sources (for example, fish products bearing the MSC – Marine Stewardship Council – Logo) the fish stocks and their habitats are maintained and looked after, and the logo ensures the livelihoods of fishing communities are secure. Find out more about the MSC here.
  4. Sign petitions for you local government to stop illegal wildlife/ ivory trade. The UK have recently announced that they will have one of the strictest ivory restrictions in the world. A great win, which we must keep trying to achieve globally. Each person can make a difference.

I believe humans need to do all that we can to help animals. They can’t speak for themselves so we need to speak for them. I hoped this post has taught you something new and has hopefully inspired you!

Thanks for reading,