Wednesday, 27 February 2019

New study sheds light on illegal wildlife trade in Hong Kong


A high volume and lucrative black market business
Date:  January 30, 2019
Hong Kong's illegal wildlife trade is contributing to a global extinction crisis. Every year millions of live animals, plants and their derivatives are illegally trafficked into and through Hong Kong, by transnational companies and organised crime syndicates.
There is an urgent need for the government to enhance its current enforcement strategy against wildlife smuggling. Over the last decade, the diversity of endangered species imported into Hong Kong has increased by 57%. At the same time, the estimated value of the trade has increased by 1,600%. Since 2013, seizures of illegal ivory, pangolin scales and rhino horn have been made by Hong Kong authorities, potentially equating to the deaths of 3,000 elephants, 96,000 pangolins and 51 rhinoceros.
Hong Kong's illegal wildlife trade is increasing in volume, underestimated in value and contributing to the global extinction crisis.
Some members of the Hong Kong Wildlife Trade Working Group (HKWTWG) have joined forces to publish a study focusing on the type and volume of seizures relating to illegal wildlife trade in Hong Kong over the last 5 years. The findings documented in the 200 page report: Trading in Extinction: The Dark Side of Hong Kong's Wildlife Trade, illustrate the city's central role in global wildlife trafficking and the extent and nature of the associated criminality. It identifies clearly, how future policy and enforcement could be improved to provide the urgently required long-term sustainability.

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