I am deeply concerned about the illegal trade in wildlife. As a result, I recently wrote to the Evening Standard about the issue. A copy of my letter is below.
As new figures estimate that the number of African elephants has fallen by a third in the last seven years, your readers may be interested to learn of a campaign launched by Conservative MEPs to tackle wildlife trafficking.
We want international trade agreements to be used to combat the deplorable global market in wildlife and wild-animal parts.
A report we are preparing for the European Parliament will identify ways of turning trade deals into effective weapons against the illicit traffic which is behind the rapid decline in many threatened species.
We are also demanding improved use of customs technology to crack down on smugglers.
We are seeing an unprecedented surge in the illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products. It is an illegal trade worth billions of pounds a year and it threatens to overturn decades of hard won conservation gains.
Wildlife and biodiversity are being sacrificed to line the pockets of criminals and greedy gangsters. It has to be stopped.
Syed Kamall MEP