Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

MEPs vote to tackle wildlife crime

Posted: 17 January 2014

Following a debate in the European Parliament, on January 15th 2014 MEPs adopted a resolution to combat trophy hunting and the organised criminal killing of rhinos, elephants and other wildlife for profit. The non-binding resolution passed with 647 votes in favour, 14 against.

The resolution calls for the European Commission to raise the issue of wildlife crime in talks with international partners and for it to shape EU aid policy. It also urges member states to destroy illegal ivory stockpiles, introduce moratoria on the trade in ivory – until such a time when elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching – and to harmonise penalties for wildlife crime and improve enforcement.

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, NL), who drafted the resolution, stated: “If we don’t take radical measures very quickly to stop these illegal practices, there will soon be no more of these iconic animals living wild anywhere on earth. We must treat this slaughter as organised crime, just like the illegal drug trade”.

The European Commission is to launch a public consultation on the issue in February 2014 and will be holding a conference on wildlife crime on April 10th.

Wildlife crime is the fourth largest illegal activity in the world, after drug trafficking, counterfeiting and human trafficking, with an annual turnover of at least US$ 19 billion. The European Union is a significant market and the adoption of the resolution to help combat this insidious trade has been welcomed by animal protection and conservation groups.

The resolution can be viewed here.

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