Some Americans might think that wildlife trafficking is no longer a problem. Border and airport controls are too thorough. Penalties are too high. There are legitimate zoos where endangered animals find safe homes with caring and knowledgeable staff and trainers. They can concentrate on urging federal commitment to green policies. Why would anyone bother trying to deceive the U.S. customs authorities, trafficking animals illegally to or from the country? Are they unaware of what they are doing?
Why People traffic in Exotic Animals
Traffickers continue to ply their illegal trade because the money is too good to resist. As with drugs or illegal organs, greed has the force to make people act against reason, the law, and personal conscience. While global citizens are concerned with green issues, maybe these criminals think they will fall below the radar, but they do not.
Criminals are not concerned with the mainstream green movement, which aims to keep foreign animals out of unfamiliar territory where it will ultimately die or overwhelm native populations. Worse could be situations where dangerous, wild animals escape captivity and harm citizens, or even kill them. Bad news about snakes suffocating children is too fresh in the memories of westerners to be forgotten or dismissed. Animal trafficking is a current and ongoing problem.
What Do Illegal Traders Do with Animals?
Some of the animals brought into the United States are kept as pets or sold at pet stores. Some are killed for their rich green skin or lush white fur. Body parts are used in ethnic cookery, homeopathic remedies, quack cures, or the making of jewelry.
Fighting the Trade
It is more than green thinking which urges Americans to fight this problem. Their conscience tells them that it is wrong to take animals from their homelands for numerous reasons. One, cited by experts in the control of illegal trade, is that animals import diseases, which American animals cannot fight against. The same goes both ways. More....