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The United States is one of the largest consumers of the world's wild animals. Taking animals from the wild can threaten the survival of some species. Even if the animals are born in captivity, the trade is dangerous and cruel.


Wild animals are traded illegally—to the tune of $10 billion or more globally each year, an amount second only to arms and drug smuggling—as well as legally. Animals are sold alive and also for their parts. This trade can devastate wild populations, and the methods used to capture, transport, and kill animals can cause tremendous suffering.

You can save wildlife. Encourage your policymakers to strengthen and enforce laws to reduce wildlife trade. And use the power of your purchasing choices: Don't buy wild.


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Illegal Internet WildlifeTrafficking Exposed

Assisted by The HSUS, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission led a crackdown on the illegal Internet wildlife trade, resulting in 33 written arrests and 40 warnings.

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News & Events

  • March 27, 2014

    Woody Harrelson Joins Campaign to End the Bloody Ivory Trade

    Hawaii resident and star of celebrated series True Detective Woody Harrelson is urging lawmakers to end the ivory trade in the Aloha state. Harrelson joins The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in their work to end the cruel and illicit ivory trade, which is driving the massacre of tens of thousands of African elephants every year.

  • October 2, 2013

    Investigation into Illegal Internet Wildlife Trafficking Results in 33 Written Arrests and 40 Warnings

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission led a crackdown on the illegal Internet wildlife trade, resulting in 33 written arrests and 40 warnings. The Humane Society of the United States assisted in the investigation by providing specially trained volunteers to conduct Internet searches to identify illegal wildlife items being sold online.

  • September 17, 2013

    California Makes Progress on Animal Protection Legislation

    This session, the California Legislature sent six animal protection bills to Gov. Jerry Brown, four of which he has already signed.

  • September 13, 2013

    Remaining Rhino Species Gets Immediate Protection Under U.S. Law

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service immediately listed the southern white rhino as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, giving the species greater protection from poaching. With two or three rhinos poached every day for their horns, conservationists believe that within a few years’ time, there will be no more rhinos in the wild in Africa.

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Our Victories

  • April 14, 2014

    Accomplishments for Seals

    The last year has seen great progress towards stopping Canada's commercial seal slaughter.

  • March 31, 2014

    Top UN Court Orders Japan to End Antarctic Whaling

    Statement on the ruling of the International Court of Justice that Japan’s whaling program is a breach of the global whaling moratorium and lacks scientific legitimacy in regard to the quotas set and the numbers taken.

  • March 25, 2014

    Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging California Shark Fin Law

    The federal district court in the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit challenging California’s shark fin law.

  • February 14, 2014

    On Heels of Major Criminal Bust, Shark Fin Distributors Drop Lawsuit

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently seized 2,000 pounds of illegal shark fins from a San Francisco merchant. That merchant is a part of an association whose members sold and distributed shark fins to restaurants and grocery stores and who had sued the State of California challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on the sale and trade of shark fins. In the wake of this major bust, the association has voluntarily dismissed its legal challenge.

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