AR-News: (UK/US) Trade goes off the scale
info at animalconcerns.org
Tue May 25 07:29:32 EDT 2004
ASCOTTISH businessman is found dead, slumped over the wheel of a rented
car near the city of Little Rock in the United States, surrounded by a
pool of vomit. Half-a-mile away an electrician stumbles upon a wooden box
abandoned beside the highway - containing four of the deadliest snakes in
It sounds like the opening to a Quentin Tarantino film.
The trade in selling wild animals and plants is worth billions. Most of
that trade is legal, with dealers such as Exotic Reptiles Jungle
advertising a range of venomous snakes for less than £100 each, including
comparatively less dangerous snakes such as pythons and rattlesnakes.
But, according to the wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic
International, a "significant portion" of it is not.
And with collectors prepared to pay "tens of thousands of pounds" for a
single deadly snake, and poverty-stricken locals in countries where the
creatures are native, such as Africa and India, desperate to make a
living, it is not hard to see why the trade is estimated to be second only
to illegal drugs trafficking in terms of profit.
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