By Rebecca English
Prince Charles has accused middle-class consumers of fuelling the sickening global trade in illegal animal products that is putting dozens of species at risk of extinction.
In an impassioned speech, the heir to the throne warned that an increased slaughter of animals such as elephants, rhinos and tigers to make exotic products that reflect people’s ‘economic prosperity’ is decimating the world’s wildlife.
He was backed by his son, Prince William, who said: ‘I think the consumer deserves to know that the illegal animal parts’ fashionable and luxurious image is at odds with the barbarity of how these animals parts are obtained.’
The pair were speaking at an Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference co-hosted by Charles and government ministers at St James’s Palace, which has attracted delegates from around the world.
Wildlife authorities have warned that despite the success of protection initiatives in the early 1990s, there has been a 3,000 per cent increase in rhino poaching alone in the last few years due to increased demand, particularly in the Far East where it is prized as an aphrodisiac.
With price of horn reaching more than £40,000 a kilo, it is more valuable than most drugs. More....