IFAW: online wildlife trade in Europe and Russia persistent
Disrupt: Wildlife Cybercrime – Uncovering the scale of online wildlife trade – released on the 23rd of May 2018 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – highlights the vast quantity of live animals and their body parts available for sale online and the threat this poses to their survival. The latest in a long line of research, this report also details the challenges and opportunities faced by conservationists, governments and the private sector in putting an end to wildlife cybercrime.
Over a six week period in 2017, with a focus on France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, IFAW’s team of experts and researchers uncovered that thousands of live endangered and threatened animals and animal products were offered for sale online. IFAW identified 5,381 advertisements spread across 106 online marketplaces and social media platforms, cataloguing 11,772 endangered and threatened specimens worth US $3,942,329.
With the release of this report, IFAW remains committed to bringing key stakeholders together from both the private and public sector to provide information, education and support in the fight against wildlife cybercrime. For governments around the world, it means allocating enforcement resources to identify and prosecute wildlife cybercriminals. For the private sector, it means online marketplaces and social media platforms ensure their sites are a no-go zone for wildlife traffickers seeking to abuse their platforms for profit. eBay for example, has adopted strict policies targeting illegal wildlife sellers in collaboration with IFAW and has prevented or removed more than 45,000 listings last year that violated wildlife trade policies. Additionally, consumers can play a vital role by reporting potentially illegal advertisements and posts to the companies and by not buying illegal wildlife products and live animals.
Since 2017, Adessium Foundation supports IFAW’s project ‘Tackling wildlife cybercrime in Europe and Russia’, which aims to raise awareness about and catalyze action against the growing role of the internet in global wildlife trade.
IFAW’s report, Disrupt: Wildlife Cybercrime, can be downloaded from http://www.ifaw.org