Disrupting the illegal wildlife trade with Freeland

08 July 2015

Our Investigations team have established a new and exciting partnership with Freeland to address the illegal wildlife trade in South East Asia.

Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization, working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Through our partnership we will combine resources and build on our previous successes, such as this ivory prosecution in the UK in 2014. By working together we can achieve much more for animals in the complex and dangerous world of illegal wildlife trade.

A joint investigation is underway, in which evidence and intelligence will be passed on to enforcement agencies in order to help permanently disrupt the illegal wildlife trade in in South-East Asia. Together we are working towards protecting many more wild animals in the region, whilst also moving the public to recognize that wild animals belong in the wild.

Big business

The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth at least $19 billion per year. It has been ranked as the fourth most lucrative global illegal activity behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

A recent operation by the Thai Black Rangers demonstrated the financial power behind each and every deal as they rescued 151 pangolins estimated to be worth around 3 million Thai Baht (USD $92,173).  

Illegal trade chains are very sophisticated and a number of middlemen can be found between those that collect the wild animals and the final end consumer who may be entirely unaware of how their pet (or product) came to reach them. Our partnership with Freeland will allow both organizations to navigate and disrupt these chains with more success than ever before.

The illegal trade in wildlife is an animal protection issue

Whilst the illegal trade of wild animals is already known to be a threat to species survival, the trade is also a severe threat to the welfare of millions of wild animals each year. All wild animals are certain to experience at least some degree of pain as soon as they are removed from their wild habitats.

Capture causes high levels of stress for the animals, whilst their handling and restraint has the potential to break limbs, tails and shells. The animals are then typically packaged in cramped and unsanitary conditions for extensive periods of time that can result in suffering and death. Even after transportation survivors still face an uncertain future.

Moving the world to protect wild animals

We will be the first to break the news of any achievements for wild animals through this partnership with Freeland. Follow us on Facebook to be the first to know.

We are working to protect wildlife all over the world, from bears in Pakistan to sea animals in our oceans. We firmly believe in keeping wild animals where they belong – in the wild. Read more about our work.

"The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth at least $19 billion per year. It has been ranked as the fourth most lucrative global illegal activity behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking."
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