Wildlife smuggling persists in India, even doubled during Covid-19

Amidst the various speculations regarding the origin of Covid-19 virus and with WHO’s team thriving to learn more in China about the origination and spread of one of the worst ever Pandemic.

Even a common man understand the ill effects of wildlife trafficking. Not to forget the greatest debates of our time being filled with the details of such an evil.

These crimes threaten tens of thousands of species around the world, causing extinctions, hurting people and moreover, spreading worst forms of diseases, sometimes even introducing Invasive species impacting all indigenous species.

According to a recent report in India,

“Indian wildlife amidst the COVID-19 crisis: An analysis of poaching and illegal wildlife trade”

TRAFFIC(Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce) indicates a significant increase in reported poaching of wild animals in India during the lockdown period that is not restricted to any geographical region or state or to any specific wildlife area.

For report’s pdf: [Indian Wildlife amidst the Covid 19 Crisis: An analysis of status of poaching and illegal wildlife trading“]

Reports of poaching incidences for consumption and local trade have more than doubled during lockdown although there was no evidence of any stockpiling of wildlife products for future trade.

Also recently in India, WCCB(Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) busted a wildlife trafficking syndicate in J&K which was carrying of loads of illegal wildlife supplies including Musk deer, Himalayan Black bear, musk pods, bear bile, which is used in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM).

The present seizure is one of the largest seizures in the recent past. These poached animals – leopard, bear and musk deer are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Here are a few top revelations about wildlife trafficking:

  1. Wildlife smuggling is a big business($23 billion a year).
  2. It puts tens thousands of species at risk- endangered to extinct and healthy to vulnerable
  3. It impacts Humans too eg. COVID-19 plus Poachers and traffickers have also been linked to murder, bribery, organized crime, terrorism financing and a host of other threats that destabilize families, communities and national security ultimately.
  4. Wildlife trafficking has many facets(can deal with whole bodies, meat, scales and other parts — or live animals, sold for the pet trade or for later consumption).
  5. Has spread its tantacles in all(legal wildlife trade and illegal poaching by hunters turning to the illegal trade for much-needed income).
  6. It often unintentionally leads to killing of alternative beings like using poison eliminates other species in the area.
  7. It’s not just animals. Plants, insects, corals and what not.

India has enacted several safeguards and policies to discourage such overexploitation of wildlife for trade that has affected countless species. This has been well-publicized in the cases of tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants and others, but many other species are affected.

It needs serious concern as it tends to affect us all, the Human livelihood shatters ultimately in its garb. Nature has its own methodologies for worldly balance, and at times, it bears no interference.