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Internet Wildlife Trade

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Internet Wildlife Trade

Post  whitestarling on Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:12 pm

Shocking extent of the internet wildlife trade is exposed
Thousands of endangered species worth millions of pounds are bought and sold on the Internet, a shocking new report shows.

A six-week investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found 33,006 endangered wildlife, and wildlife parts and products for sale, worth a staggering £6.5 million, via 280 online market places across 16 countries.

In the UK, websites hosted 1,087 online advertisements offering a total of 1,603 items for sale including ivory and suspected ivory, turtles, tortoises, owls, exotic birds, monkeys and parts and products from elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, alligators and big cats. The items were valued at more than £300,000. Over two-thirds of adverts were for wildlife parts and products rather than live animals.

The most popular site for sales was eBay with 674 ads, where one seller posted 58 ivory and suspected ivory items on the site during the six-week investigation.

Almost 80 percent of the advertisements claimed to be legal, with most ivory sellers stating their items were antique. However, only six advertisements offered any supporting proof of origin/legality of a proposed sale.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said the numbers and demand for live animals, parts and products found by the Wanted – Dead or Alive, Exposing Online Wildlife Trade investigation varied greatly from region to region.

“What is clear is that online marketplaces should protect endangered wildlife by working with police and customs to catch wildlife cybercriminals, banning the sale of goods made from endangered wildlife and informing their customers about the poaching crisis and the laws against illegal wildlife trade. We recognise the efforts made by some marketplaces in using the information provided by IFAW, running enforcement programmes and by cooperating with the authorities.

“At the same time governments need to introduce stronger legislation that specifically targets online wildlife crime and must encourage and support their enforcement agencies in making sure wildlife cybercriminals are apprehended and prosecuted.”

eBay has introduced even tougher preventative measures on its site as a result of cooperation with IFAW and other organisations, and this year will take tougher sanctions against sellers who flout eBay’s policies on wildlife products.

eBay Director Wolfgang Weber said: “eBay does not tolerate illegal wildlife trade on its site. In addition eBay policies regarding ivory are stricter than the law and generally prohibit all ivory products. eBay is committed to an ongoing programme of strict enforcement working closely with IFAW as well as law enforcement.

“Acting on information from IFAW and other organisations, we have been able to put new measures in place to prevent sellers from listing items of concern on the site, and in very many cases we are able to remove listings before a sale is made, and then take action against the seller.

The investigation specifically targeted the sale of species listed on Appendix I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which regulates and restricts the trade in wildlife and their parts and products.


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Re: Internet Wildlife Trade

Post  Laikipia on Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:40 am

No No No That's not good reading.

Thanks WS


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Re: Internet Wildlife Trade

Post  Chris-AWD on Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:00 pm

WS I think this is the study that showed that at least 33,000 animals were put on sale online at the beginning of 2014. Like expected China was the leading country in the online trade of wildlife animals. Apparently on eBay they disguise it using code words to avoid being caught.

The internet is empowering on the one hand but sad that it also poses a real threat to our wildlife at the same time.


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Re: Internet Wildlife Trade

Post  littlewid on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:34 pm

That makes for disturbing reading WS. Chris is right, the internet is a great resource for a lot of things but it can also fall foul of many things too and it seems illegal wildlife trade is one of them. You can only applaude eBay for working with IFAW but these people are also very clever as Chris says by using code words but I'm sure these codes will soon be broken by the likes of IFAW. However, I am also sure they will always find a way. The only way to cut down on internet illegal sales is to ban all sites for online sales of anything but that will never happen and the selllers will only find another way of trafficking their illegal goods and maybe being online is one way of catching some of them.
No surprises that China is at the top of the online trafficking.......we know that not all Chinese are tarred with the same brush but there does seem to be a majority of offenders there but thats just my opinion.
I find it deeply distressing that the worlds beautiful wildlife is being, murdered, decimated, at risk of extinction due to mans pathetic, idiotic beliefs and greed for supposed status. Animals don't let you down but humans do.
Thats my kind of polite and almost politically correct reply.



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