Some are aware of how some criminals are illegally transporting and selling wild animals. Now, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) issued a new report providing ideas for clamping down on these illegal activities. Not only do these criminal acts plunder our natural resources, these are cruel acts of violence that also involve fraud and money laundering. Seizures often net several million dollars.
Whistleblower protections could increase enforcement
One suggestion was providing whistleblower protections. The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) recently offered guidance to IFAW on best introducing and incentivizing whistleblowers to report these illegal and immoral activities. In part, the recommendations included such bedrock whistleblowing tenets as:
- Anonymous reporting
- Substantial rewards
- Anti-retaliation protections
A long-term global problem
The World Customs Organization (WCO) coordinated a global crackdown in 2019 that involved 109 countries. It led to the arrest of 582 smugglers by Interpol. Officials seized thousands of wild animals, including 10,000 turtles and tortoises, 4,300 birds, 1,500 reptiles, 30 big cats, and 23 primates. It also collected 440 elephant tusks. There were similar actions in 2017 and 2018, and reports say that the problem has not gone away in 2021.
Help is available
Those with knowledge of the illegal trafficking of animals may not currently have formalized regulations to protect them. However, they can still seek legal guidance for effectively and anonymously coming forward to help stop this cruelty.