Leading organisations warn EU to cut out loopholes that allow wildlife trafficking

EU remains a top destination for stolen wildlife

Animal welfare leaders have issued a warning that EU countries remain top destinations for stolen wildlife, urging governments to close loopholes that allow exploitative practices to continue.

A report released on September 27 stated that the European Union is a “main hub” for the trade of stolen wildlife and exposed EU countries as “complicit” in the smuggling of nationally protected species. The report is based on case studies including wildlife trafficked from Cuba, the Philippines, South Africa, Brazil and Morocco.

Three animal welfare organisations produced and commissioned the report; the Humane Society International/Europe, IFAW and Pro Wildlife. They argue that current legislation is allowing the import and onward trade of illegally bred and traded animals into the EU.

The phenomenon is particularly notable in the exotic pet trade where wealthy owners take drastic measures that ultimately drive wildlife trafficking.

The report demands the EU prohibits the import, sales, purchase and possession of wildlife that has been illegally sourced in the country of origin. The European Parliament have proposed several motions in support of the EU adopting such a policy in law.

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