Illegal Wild Life Trade In India

Throughout the world thousands of species of wild plants and animals are caught or harvested from the wild and then sold legitimately as food, pets, ornamental plants, leather, tourist ornaments and medicine. At present the wildlife crime is a big business which is run by dangerous international networks, wildlife and animal parts are trafficked much like illegal drugs and arms. By its very nature, it is almost impossible to obtain reliable figures for the value of illegal wildlife trade. According to officials of TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network that it runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Forests and wildlife of India have been under threat for a while not just from mindless development but also the illegal trade in flora and fauna. In India like many other countries, the problem is not of the laws but that these may be poorly communicated and poorly implemented and enforced.

CITES is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species listed on Appendices to certain controls. India is also a member of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) since 1976. This is not to say that India doesn’t have a strong legal and policy framework to regulate and restrict the wildlife trade. Trade in over 1,800 species of wild animals, plants and their derivatives, is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. According to WWF-India, there is an urgent need for knowledge and action to bring the legal wildlife trade within sustainable levels and stop all illegal trade that has threatened and even pushed many species towards extinction.

By – HOD – Dr. Sandeep Dhyani
Botany Department
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital