WWF warns of continuing trade in endangered animal products

WWF warns of continuing trade in endangered animal products

The pangolin is one of the most common illegally traded animals (Stock image)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A new report by the WWF has warned that huge amounts of products made from endangered animals are being illegally traded in south-east Asia.

Many products are sold for use as treatments for issues such as for asthma, rheumatism, stomach problems and arthritis, according to BT.

Much of the trading is said to take place in what is known as the "Golden Triangle," where the border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.

It is claimed the sales are pushed by Chinese and Vietnamese tourists who are looking for traditional forms of medical treatment.

The WWF report estimates that around £3 million worth of products are being sold just in Myanmar's Mong La market alone.

It also says the animals traded the most in the area are bears, elephants and pangolins. Pangolins are thought to be the most common mammal illegally traded in the world.

There are eight species of pangolin and last year the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species categorised all in the highest level of protection for endangered species.

A technical advisor for the WWF called the markets in the Golden Triangle a "shocking and sobering sight, displaying thousands of body parts of some of the world’s most iconic and endangered animals."

Chrisgel Cruz said the "illegal, unregulated and unsustainable trade" is causing the numbers of certain species to drop significantly across the world. 

He added: “Governments, law enforcers, NGOs and companies must act now to secure the future of endangered species by getting tough on criminals, supporting those protecting the animals on the frontline and raising awareness across Asia of the need to close these markets.”