Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Exotic Animal Trafficking

Exotic animal trafficking is a 19 billion dollar a year industry, shortly behind gun and human trafficking. It is really hard for police to investigate these individuals and determine whether or not the animals are illegal or not. Many times, even when people are arrested, the penalties are not nearly as severe as the other trafficking violations. Often the animals caught are endangered species. What makes this business particularly disturbing is that the collectors know that the animals are endangered and still chose to sell them for profit. Those buying endangered animals do it as a "bragging right" to say that they have a rare animal in their possession. Six states in the United States do not have any laws prohibiting the keeping of these animals. Fourteen states allow people to keep these animals so long as they have permits. Exotic animals can be acquired in the United States through an auction. In these auctions, the animals go to the highest bidder-- regardless of the qualifications, intended use, or public safety concerns. In the link i have provided, is a video documenting the trade of these animals. The documentary uncovers how it is common for the owners of these animals to put them on ranches for rich hunters to kill. This ties into what we spoke about in class regarding humans not understanding the impact that trapping these animals can have. These endangered species will be gone forever if they are not rescued. It is important that states take the matter seriously because, ultimately, they have the power to stop this.

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