EU to Step Up Fight against Wildlife Trafficking

Written by | Friday, February 7th, 2014

The European Union is looking into ways of tightening fight against wildlife trafficking as poaching and illegal wildlife trade have reached alarming levels for some species.
According to some reports, more than 1000 rhinoceroses were poached in South Africa in 2013, compared to 13 in 2007, for example, and rhino horn is now more valuable than gold.
The EU is a major destination market and an important transit point for illegal wildlife products, with organized crime playing an increasing role.
“Wildlife trafficking takes a terrible toll on biodiversity”, says European environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik, stressing “the need to find ways of taking more decisive action” to combat wildlife trafficking which yields important profits for international organized crime groups.
The EU has been active in the fight against illegal wildlife trade over the past decade, adopting strict trade rules for endangered species and providing support to anti-wildlife-trafficking efforts in developing countries.
In Africa, the EU bloc has committed more than 500 million euros for biodiversity conservation over the past 30 years. Wildlife trafficking has become one of the most profitable transnational criminal activities globally, driven by a high and growing demand for wildlife products, notably in Asia.
Poachers sell rhino horn for 40 000 euro per/kilo, while the price of Tiger bones is over 900/kilo. It appears wildlife crime is a highly lucrative business worth the risk.

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