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Wildlife Trafficking Takes a Hit After Unprecedented U.S. Action

Wildlife Trafficking Takes a Hit After Unprecedented U.S. Action

President Obama has made another unprecedented move this week by signing an executive order to combat wildlife trafficking that is threatening endangered species and perpetuating organized crime.

The president launched the crackdown during his visit to Tanzania earlier this week, which brings hope for species whose populations are suffering from the effects of the recent surge in poaching that is estimated to be a billion dollar industry and is now being considered both a global crisis and a security threat.

During his speech, the president said, “poaching and trafficking is threatening Africa’s wildlife, so today I issued a new executive order to better organize U.S. government efforts in this fight so that we can cooperate further with the Tanzanian government and others. And this includes additional millions of dollars to help countries across the region build their capacity to meet this challenge, because the entire world has a stake in making sure that we preserve Africa’s beauty for future generations.”

It’s believed that 30,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory, while rhino poaching saw a 3000 percent increase between 2007 and 2011, and rangers continue to lose their lives in an effort to protect these animals.

“Poaching operations have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates,” states the order. “The survival of protected wildlife species such as elephants, rhinos, great apes, tigers, sharks, tuna, and turtles has beneficial economic, social, and environmental impacts that are important to all nations.”

The order allocates $10 million in State Department funds to fight the illegal trade and promises to assist foreign governments with anti-trafficking activities, in addition to making an effort to reduce the demand domestically and abroad.

It also pledges to establish a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking composed of the State, Interior and Justice departments to develop strategies to combat wildlife trafficking and an Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking that will make recommendations and assist the task force. The Transnational Organized Crime Strategy will also now be considering whether to add wildlife trafficking to the list of crimes it covers, putting it on the same level as arms and human trafficking.

The news is being welcomed by conservation organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC  and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), among others, and follows IFAW’s release of a report that highlights the “connections between poaching, terrorism, and international criminal syndicates, showing how the illegal wildlife trade has far-reaching implications for global security.”

“President Obama’s commitment to help stop the global crime wave that is emptying the continent’s forests and savannas is welcome news. It gives a critical boost for everyone involved in fighting wildlife trafficking ― from rangers on the ground to local conservation groups to decision-makers around the globe,” said Carter Roberts, President & CEO of WWF-US.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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183 comments

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4:18PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

finally

2:49PM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

Sorry that last got posted on the wrong thread (belongs to the posting about Sadie the dog who was shot in the forehead by some Kentucky maniac)

2:46PM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

Latest news I could find on Sadie as of April 2013 (Wisconsin Gazette)

“My expectation is she may never walk normally, but she is mobile now,” Derse-Dauer said.
For now, Derse-Dauer and the rest of Sadie’s team are focused on nerve regeneration, rather than walking, said Sadie’s pet therapist Jessica Dragan, who demonstrated some of Sadie’s massage treatments. Sadie grumbled slightly, but lay still. "She’s paving the way for other dogs who’ve been through something similar,” Dragan said. “She’s defied the odds. But, we’re not done.” In the weeks since my visit with Sadie, she’s continued to improve, according to Dragan. A recent breakthrough occurred when her therapists noticed Sadie moving her left leg during a recent swim. Although the pooch isn’t crazy about the water, it’s proven tremendously beneficial to her recovery, Dragan said.

2:22PM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

Here is finally a use for armed drones. Rather than spending billions on drones in useless wars, send those drones after the poachers wherever they're lurking and mow them down before they murder any wildlife.

5:25AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

2:51AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Hopefully this will help

7:07AM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

See Ruhee's post.............................

Poach the poachers, no questions asked, shot on site..........................

1:19PM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

I hope this really works!

9:46PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

I hope it helps but i still think poachers should be shot on sight.

6:08PM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

I think we should let all the retired commandos go to these places, hide out and slaughter the poachers! THAT would certainly stop this once and for all!

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