Closer cooperation and more powers for Europol essential in fight against wildlife trafficking

Labour MEPs voted today for a report calling for the eradication of wildlife trafficking - the illegal trade in wild animals, many at risk of extinction.

The EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking aims to eliminate the organised buying and selling of wild animals and plants, which is globally estimated to be worth €20 billion (£17bn) and threatens hundreds of animal species, as well as flora and fauna varieties.

The report calls for the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol, to be given more resources to fight wildlife trafficking and take on the organised criminal gangs that profit from the illegal trade.

Neena Gill MEP, Labour Party West Midlands Said:

“Now is the time to fight the decline of iconic species, and the European Parliament today voted on an EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking to tackle this growing threat to biodiversity”

“The ball is now in the Commission and Council’s court. We urge them to support us in our endeavours to eradicate this hideous trade and take on board the report’s proposals.”

Paul Brannen MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on the report, said:

“It is vital that the EU takes a lead on tackling this despicable trade, and enables Europol to go after the criminals and animal killers who profit from it, exploiting some of the world’s poorest people in the process.

“At the same time we must help poor people caught up in this illegal industry to understand the damage it causes, and incentivise non-involvement with illegal wildlife trafficking, as well as cooperation with the authorities.