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October 2, 2013

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

The Humane Society of the United States Joins Forces with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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.

Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The HSUS, said: “The Internet is teeming with illegal wildlife items and wildlife trafficking crimes threaten fragile populations and can cause immense animal suffering. We’re proud to assist the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in their admirable work to crack down on the illegal trade in wildlife.”

HSUS provided six volunteers who combed online marketplaces for illegal wildlife items and passed the leads on to law enforcement. This marks the third Internet wildlife trafficking investigation in which The HSUS has provided volunteers to state and federal wildlife agencies.  The goal of the program is to help law enforcement increase the scope of investigations and spend more time in the field by assisting with the time-intensive task of combing websites for violations.

Facts:

  • Globally, the illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar a year industry.
  • The United States is the second largest importer of wildlife after China.
  • The HSUS runs a nationwide anti-poaching program focused on supporting state and federal law enforcement agencies in their efforts to combat poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife.
  • The HSUS’ global affiliate, Humane Society International, runs a consumer education campaign called Don't Buy Wild which urges consumers to avoid supporting the cruel and unsustainable trade in wild animals and their parts.

For more information about poaching, visit humanesociety.org/poaching.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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