Monday, July 15, 2019

Amanda Whitfort on Rethinking Criminal Justice Responses in Hong Kong to Wildlife Trafficking (HKL)

Amanda Whitfort
Hong Kong Lawyer
June 2019
In recent years, there has been a dramatic surge in wildlife trafficking around the world. Record numbers of rhino, elephant and tiger have been poached in Africa and India. Around 300 pangolin are poached every day for their meat and scales (used in Traditional Chinese Medicine), making them the most trafficked mammal in the world. All eight species of pangolin were listed in Appendix I of the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in 2016, despite many people still not knowing what a pangolin looks like. The low risk of detection and high profit to be made from wildlife trafficking has made it attractive not only to opportunistic poachers but to transnational criminal syndicates who oversee supply to growing markets in Asia. Wildlife trafficking is now regarded as the fourth most lucrative black market in the world, after the trafficking of drugs, people and arms. A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report estimated the annual value of the illegal wildlife trade at US$23 billion. Gram for gram, rhino horn is now more valuable than platinum... Click here to read the full article.

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