East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin leads high-profile public debate on illegal wildlife trade

debate-on-wildlife-tradeEmma McClarkin MEP today welcomed a panel of experts to the European Parliament to address Members of the International Trade Committee about the importance of tackling illegal wildlife trade.

Miss McClarkin said:

“The scale of recent trade flows in illegal wildlife and wildlife products is unprecedented with recent data showing that the number of rhinos killed for their horns has risen dramatically over the past decade. In 2007, 13 rhinos were killed in South Africa. Last year, the number was 1175.

“This problem can no longer be ignored. We should embrace the momentum and positive message left by CITES CoP17 to make this a priority on our trade agendas and ensure that we politicians, and the international community, do more in arresting this illegal commercial enterprise. We need a global response and increased cooperation efforts and information sharing between the national authorities and organisations combating this crime.”

This public debate marks the first time that the European Parliament International Trade Committee has gathered to discuss in depth this very important topic. Miss McClarkin added:

“I am delighted that my colleagues agreed to host this discussion that will certainly contribute to drafting the first report of the trade committee on illegal wildlife trade which I am leading on.”

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