Save Animals to Beat Terrorists
Washington announces anti-trafficking initiative
by DAVID AXE
Illegal trafficking in live animals and wildlife products generates an estimated $10 billion a year in ill-gotten gains and threatens pangolins, rhinos, elephants, apes, big cats and other species with extinction. According to the U.S. State Department, the trade
fuels corruption, threatens the rule of law and destabilizes communities that depend on wildlife for biodiversity and eco-tourism revenues. Criminal organizations, including some terrorist entities, are increasingly involved in this illicit trade, especially the illegal movement of wildlife from source countries in Africa to consumer countries across East Asia.
To beat terrorists who rely on wildlife trade for cash, the U.S. government has announced a new anti-trafficking initiative. “We are committed to a multi-pronged fight against wildlife trafficking that includes working to reduce demand and sales of illegally traded ivory and other wildlife products right here at home,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who serves as co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking.
- Raising the public’s awareness of the scope of the wildlife trafficking crisis, including the illegal trade’s devastating impact on elephants, rhinos, tigers and other irreplaceable species, and illegal traffickers’ role in funding global corruption and terrorism;
- Reducing consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products;
- Mobilizing companies to adopt best practices to insure that their goods and services are not being utilized by illegal wildlife traffickers, and to assist in raising public awareness and reducing demand.
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