WCS Statement: London Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade

February 13, 2014

The following statement was released today by Dr. John G. Robinson, WCS Chief Conservationist and Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science.

“We greatly welcome the London Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade, which today sends a strong message across the globe: Wildlife trafficking is a serious crime, on a global scale, and must be tackled at all levels as a matter of urgency. The declaration calls for a global crackdown on wildlife crime and on the corruption and organized criminal activities that feed it.

“WCS applauds the leadership of the Royal Foundation and the Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales, and the government of the United Kingdom in convening this important conference and guiding it towards a positive outcome that will help advance efforts to stop the scourge of wildlife trafficking.

“The declaration makes it clear that trafficking in wildlife, and the illegal killing that supplies it, go beyond a breakdown in governance systems or a crime committed by the uninformed few. These are serious crimes committed by well-financed and well-armed syndicates with complete disregard for the well-being of people and wildlife. The declaration calls for governments to crack down on these criminals with stiffer penalties and more aggressive investigation and prosecution, including addressing the corruption and bribery that facilitate these crimes. It further calls for addressing this crisis at all points of the supply chain – where the animal is killed, where the parts are trafficked, and where the products are purchased.

“WCS commits to working closely with governments to stop the killing, stop the trafficking and stop the demand—whether for elephant ivory, rhino horn, tiger parts, or other threatened and endangered species parts."

Read the full statement by Dr. John Robinson >>
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