Illegal wildlife trade has seen an increase in the last many years and the demand for wildlife products comes from a number of different consumer groups and is, in some cases, heavily influenced by culture.
This has been revealed in a new WWF report — “Fighting Illicit Wildlife Trafficking; A consultation with governments.
“On one side of the spectrum, there is demand that is fuelled by the perceived medicinal value of some products or the social status that is associated with them. On the other side, there is demand that is fuelled by opportunistic buying and often ignorant tourists who purchase souvenirs or pets to take home,” the report said.
The report points out that in perceived medicinal value, such as cancer treatment, is driving the demand for buying wildlife products. Another thing is the social status. The report quotes a Chinese government official as saying that the collection of arts and crafts, jewellery and antiques, including ivory carvings, have become fashionable and the price of those items has increased significantly.
The report points out that in perceived medicinal value, such as cancer treatment, is driving the demand for buying wildlife products. Another thing is the social status.
There is also a craze for possessing exotic pets, rare plants/animals and hunting trophies. A majority of the respondents interviewed for the study opined that that the primary driver of demand is the social status associated with the products being trafficked.