UN resolution tackles illegal wildlife trade in wake of Cecil the lion outrage

31 July 2015

We welcome the announcement from the United Nations that will step up international efforts in tackling the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

A global headline issue

Through this resolution the UN General Assembly has called upon countries to improve national legislation to prevent, investigate and prosecute the illegal wildlife trade. It comes in the wake of the outrage over Cecil the lion’s death in Zimbabwe and the growing public awareness of the cruelty inherent within the global wildlife trade.

This progress at the highest level shows that global leaders are taking this issue seriously. Countries have now agreed that to tackle wildlife crime, the protection of animals must be part of a global effort that is linked up with poverty eradication, food security and sustainable development.

Kate Nustedt, our International Campaigns Director for Wildlife has said:

“It is uplifting to see the passing of this resolution that acknowledges global concern for animals suffering in the illegal wildlife trade.

However we know that in many cases the use of wild animals for entertainment, traditional medicine, luxury products and as exotic pets remains legal, presenting a fundamental conflict in our duties towards wild animals.

There is no justification for such treatment of our precious wildlife. Wild animals belong in the wild and are not ours to use for entertainment or products”

Legal wildlife trade

The breeding, rental and sale of lions and other wild animals are all part of legal trade chains. The trade supports activities such as lion cub petting, ‘canned’ hunting, elephant rides and the use of tigers as photo props for selfies.

Wild animals will suffer at every stage of this inherently cruel trade and are often kept in captive conditions that cannot meet their needs for their whole lives.

Take action

We move the world to protect wild animals, and to keep them in the wild where they belong. Find out more about our work to end the abuse of animals in entertainment.  

"There is no justification for such treatment of our precious wildlife. Wild animals belong in the wild and are not ours to use for entertainment or products”

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