Trade in endangered animals has become very successful over the internet. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) say that at the start of this year, 33,006 threatened animals, wild animal parts or products were offered on 280 platforms in 16 countries, among them Belgium, in 42 days. This type of offence is growing to alarming proportions. It is a silent threat to endangered animals like Elephants, Reptiles and Birds. The criminals can sell anonymously”, says Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of IFAW.
Mr Downes also adds that more than 100,000 elephants have died in the last three years due to the activities of ivory traders. In 2013, 1,000 Rhinoceroses were killed for their horns in South Africa.
The IFAW asks internet sales sites to work with police and customs to stop the trade in endangered species and products. The organization also calls on governments to apply stricter laws on illegal animal trade.
9,482 adverts were found, 54% for live animals. The total value of the goods was 11 million dollars (8,85 million euros). Ivory, reptiles and birds are the most traded items.