The MP for Bristol East, Kerry McCarthy, has backed the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s campaign against wildlife crime and is urging her constituents to show their commitment to protecting animals by lending their support.
Last week Kerry attended a ‘Wildlife Crime – The Fightback’ event in Parliament – which highlighted that some of the planet’s most iconic species are being pushed to the brink of extinction by wildlife crime. The illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, poaching of wild tigers for their parts, smuggling of rare birds and reptiles for the pet trade and the use of endangered animals in traditional Asian medicines are decimating wild populations. In addition it drew attention to the fact that it is now widely acknowledged that those involved in wildlife crime are often organised criminal syndicates that also deal in illegal drugs and arms.
Kerry wants the UK to take the lead internationally to stamp out wildlife crime. It is estimated 25,000-50,000 elephants were killed for their ivory in 2011. At least one rhino is killed every day due to the mistaken belief that rhino horn can cure diseases. The global value of illegal wildlife trade is between $7.8 billion and $10 billion per year.
Backing IFAW’s campaign, Kerry said: “The scale of wildlife crime is shocking and is severely undermining efforts to protect endangered species. We know that wildlife trafficking is now a big business and is more widespread and dangerous than ever before. We need to stamp out wildlife crime and I urge my constituents in Bristol to lend their support by visiting the IFAW website
Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “Wildlife crime is pushing elephants, rhinos, tigers and many other species to the brink of extinction. We are very grateful to Kerry for showing her commitment to halting wildlife crime by attending our event.”