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Organized crime is wiping out wildlife
Date:7/27/2011

mbers of highly trained and well-equipped staff at all points of the trade chain, to sniffer dogs, DNA tests, and smart-phone apps with species identification programs.

"We have taken our eye off the ball," said Bennett. "Enforcement is critical: old fashioned in concept but needing increasingly advanced methods to challenge the ever-more sophisticated methods of smuggling. When enforcement is thorough, and with sufficient resources and personnel, it works."

On a larger scale, Bennett says that law enforcement agencies need to look at wildlife smuggling as a serious crime and its enforcement as part of their job. Encouragingly, Bennett points to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Asia, which has recently listed wildlife crime as one of their core focuses, and the potentially powerful International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime was signed into effect.

"Unless we start taking wildlife crime seriously and allocating the commitment of resources appropriate to tackling sophisticated, well-funded, globally-linked criminal operations, population of some of the most beloved but economically prized, charismatic species will continue to wink out across their range, and, appallingly, altogether."


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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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