Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, has shown her commitment to protecting animals by pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare's (IFAW) campaign against wildlife crime.
Annette attended IFAW's 'Criminal Nature' event at the House of Commons, which was hosted by Angela Smith MP. Key speakers included Davyth Stewart from INTERPOL and former Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP.
Annette posed in front of a large poster to highlight the issue and send a clear message that she wants the UK to take the lead in the international community to stamp out wildlife crime.
The illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated $19 billion per year. It ranks fourth on the list of the most lucrative global illegal activities behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
Criminals are attracted to wildlife trafficking for the huge profits and low penalties. Often, the proceeds are used to fund well-armed rebel and militia groups who are willing to slaughter threatened species and kill people to obtain elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and other wildlife parts.
In addition to the growing demand for wildlife products, other factors contributing to the proliferation of the illegal wildlife trade are inadequate regulations, lack of enforcement, online marketplaces and the legal wildlife trade.
Annette said: "I was shocked to hear about the current scale of illegal wildlife trade and its impact on threatened species of animals. I am proud to support IFAW's campaign against wildlife crime and I hope my constituents will get behind the campaign as well."
Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: "The impact of the illegal trade in wildlife is very grave and we are witnessing iconic species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos being brought to the brink of extinction.We thank Annette for showing her commitment to stamping out wildlife crime by attending our event."
"As well as urging the UK Government to take a lead internationally, IFAW is calling on them to commit to the long-term funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit and ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service has specially trained prosecutors handling all wildlife crime cases," he added.