Mention wildlife crime and poaching, and the topic generally turns to China, Vietnam and the Asian communities. Their high demand for wildlife in medicinal and mythical remedies seems to be the root of the evil.
Yet while quick to focus on the Eastern part of the globe, we’re missing what’s closer to home. The US is the second largest ivory market in the world. In 2011 a TON of ivory was seized in a single raid in New York alone.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has about 200 agents across the U.S., and just one ivory or rhino horn investigation can occupy up to 30 agents and take 18 months. Severely understaffed and in many cases lacking training, the current laws aren’t enforceable. It is estimated for every crate or shipment that is confiscated, at least ten get through.
There is hope…
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