On 10th July 2020, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its World Wildlife Crime Report stating that the Seizure of the scales of the Pangolins, the most trafficked wild animal in the world has increased 10 times between the year 2014 and 2018.
The report was prepared by the UNODC Crime Research Section.
World Wildlife Crime Report:
i.The pangolins fosters a wide range of coronavirus, which shares genetic similarities with the virus that causes COVID-19.
ii.The report states that the number of legally imported pangolin scales went from zero to around 13 tonnes between 2013 and 2017.
iii.19 countries have declared large accumulated stock of pangolin scales to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
iv.The report helps to form the international agenda and increase the support of the government to prevent the crimes against wildlife.
v.The report also features about the trafficking of rosewood timber, African elephant tusks and rhinoceros’ horns, Live reptiles, Big cats and European glass eels.
vi.The illegal global trade in ivory was shrunk recently.Between 2016 and 2018 ivory trafficking generated annual income of $400 million.
Pangolin Trafficking around the world:
i.Countries like Congo, Nigeria and Uganda act as transit points for the trafficking of pangolin and other wild animals.
ii.Nigeria was the primary point of export of pangolins in 2019.
iii.The government of China seized around 23 tonnes of pangolin scales in October 2019 which were imported from Nigeria through South Korea.
iv.The illegal sale of wild animals increases the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans.
v.Around 75% of the all emerging infectious diseases are Zoonotic diseases including the SARS-CoV-2.
vi.Around 71% of seizures of whole pangolins across the world are destined for China and 19% for Viet Nam.
The Uses of Pangolins:
i.The meat and scales of these animals are used for various medicinal purposes across the world.
ii.The pangolin parts are used for treating various physical and psychological conditions in Nigeria.
iii.The pangolin scales are used widely in the Chinese medicine for various diseases and china accounts for around 99% of the legal trade of these scales.
Director-General/ Executive Director– Ghada Fathi Waly
Headquarters– Vienna, Austria