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Commissioner's call for public submissions on wildlife trafficking welcomed

The recent burglary of a rhino horn valued at over 200,000 EURO from the Cork home of well known Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley is testimony that the trade in wildlife parts is alive and flourishing in Ireland. Rhinoceros horn has now become more valuable that gold with rhino horn selling for EURO40,000 per kilo.

7th February 2014

Friday 7th February 2014:

Just Forests
Tullamore

For immediate release
7 February 2014

Contact: Tom Roche
Mobile: 086 8049389

Forest conservation group Just Forests has welcomed today’s announcement by Environment Commissioner Janez Poto─Źnik that he has launched a public consultation on how the EU can be more effective in combatting wildlife trafficking.

This announcement comes not a moment too soon according to Tom Roche of Just Forests, “The proceeds from wildlife trafficking is now a major source of funds for criminal gangs and must be stopped”. “The numbers of ‘flag ship’ species such as the African elephant illegally slaughtered for their ivory tusks has escalated from 10,000 a decade ago to 22,000 in 2012."

The group appeals to all Irish citizens to make submissions. Deadline for on-line submissions is 4th April 2014.

“The recent burglary of a rhino horn valued at over 200,000 EURO from the Cork home of well known Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley is testimony that the trade in wildlife parts is alive and flourishing in Ireland”. Rhinoceros horn has now become more valuable that gold with rhino horn selling for EURO40,000 per kilo.

Environment Commissioner Janez Poto─Źnik said: "Wildlife trafficking takes a terrible toll on biodiversity and we need to find ways of taking more decisive action. This consultation is a first step towards what I hope will be a major change in our approach.”

According to a statement issued by the Commissioner 'Wildlife crime is highly lucrative, and prosecutions are rare. The growing demand for illegal products has devastating consequences for a number of species already under threat. The changing scale of the problem has raised questions about how the EU can be more effective in fighting against wildlife trafficking. The Commission is therefore seeking views on ten questions related to wildlife trafficking, including the adequacy of the current framework, tools that might strengthen existing efforts to fight the problem, how the EU in particular can help, improving our knowledge and data, and the possibility of stronger sanctions.’
ENDS

*Please note: Wildlife trafficking (the illegal cross-border trade in biological resources taken from the wild, including trade in timber and marine species) is not a new phenomenon, but its scale, nature and impacts have changed considerably in recent years.

For more on this see: Have Your Say on wildlife trafficking

Get the latest updates from TRAFFIC the wildlife trade monitoring network

London, UK, 13th February 2014 - Governments commit to decisive and urgent action to tackle global wildlife poaching crisis

See also: 4th February 2014:  Just Forests Submission to the Review of Ireland's Foreign Policy and External Relations

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