European Parliament moves to tackle wildlife crime

The European Parliament today (Wednesday) stated that there needs to be increased action and leadership to combat wildlife crime if we wish to halt the illegal trade in wildlife products within the EU and worldwide.

The Parliament resolution affirms the Parliament's view that trafficking of wildlife constitutes serious economic, environmental and national security concerns. The resolution also includes an aim to develop a European action plan on wildlife crime. It proposes to: strengthen Member States' custom controls; using development and trade policies to influence the fight against wildlife crime; and calls on the European Commission to be far more proactive in this area.

A strong supporter of the resolution, Alyn Smith MEP welcomed its adoption and the increasing priority of the issue at EU level, and stressed that the resolution was important in terms of laying the path for future action.

Commenting on the resolution, Alyn said:

"The passage of this resolution marks a major landmark in combating the increasing problem of wildlife crime.

"Wildlife crime now represents a serious organised criminal - and, in many cases, transnational - enterprise which must be considered a massive threat not just to the welfare of individual animals but, indeed, to whole local ecosystems and conservation efforts. Tackling this requires a coordinated approach from the EU, whilst enforcement requires cooperation between national and international actors."

Alyn added:

"The European Union has a responsibility to confront this issue head on, ensuring that Europe does not provide a market or transit route for the illicit trafficking of endangered species. This resolution has clearly set out this intention."