Wildlife crime has become more lucrative and dangerous, involving large-scale, transnational organized criminal networks. It is now the 4th most profitable illicit trade in the world, estimated at up to US$19 billion each year. Hong Kong has become a major wildlife smuggling hub. Cases of wildlife smuggling tripled in the past five years. Law enforcement authorities are having some success. It also illustrates that there is not yet sufficient deterrent to smugglers. It is time to put an end to the trade and slaughter.
The cost to wildlife, the rangers who protect it, and the wider society is unacceptable and the reputation of Hong Kong as Asia’s World City is undermined. With strengthened efforts in combating wildlife crime, Hong Kong can help end the trade in local species such as agar wood and freshwater turtles, and help prevent the trade in globally important species that are being transshipped through our ports such as elephants, rhinos, sharks and pangolins.
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