Wildlife trafficking | WWF
 
	© © Martin Harvey / WWF

Stop wildlife trafficking

The EU is a market, place of transit and source region for illegal wildlife trafficking.
Each year, millions of plants and animals – some of them rare or endangered - are caught or harvested from the wild and sold as food, pets, furniture, fashion, tourist curios, and medicine. While sustainable, legal trade doesn’t harm wild populations, a large part of it is illegal.



The EU is a market, place of transit and source region for illegal wildlife trafficking. This trafficking threatens the survival of many species and the livelihoods of local communities.

Corruption, toothless laws and law monitoring, and weak judicial systems allow criminal networks to keep plundering wildlife with few consequences. This makes illegal wildlife trade a low risk business with high returns.

What is WWF doing?

Stamping out illegal wildlife trade is our priority, because it threatens the future of some of the world’s rarest species. Through our global network and the work of coalition group TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, WWF helps combat the illegal trade and encourages sustainable legal trade.

Our work on illegal wildlife trade is structured around on four pillars:
  1. Stop the poaching by increasing wildlife stewardship – for example by local communities - and strengthening field protection for example by training anti-poaching patrols;
  2. Stop the trafficking by promoting action to expose and suppress trafficking;
  3. Stop the buying by encouraging initiatives to reduce consumer demand; and
  4. Boost international policy by mobilising policy response at an international level to stimulate the creation and implementation of laws and actions for the fight against wildlife crime.

Policy timeline