The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be a multibillion-dollar business involving the unlawful harvest of and trade in live animals and plants, or parts and products derived from them.
Illicit wildlife trafficking has wide security implications, with corruption and sophisticated transnational
crime syndicates at the center of poaching and trade.
It harms wild populations of animals and plants and pushes endangered species toward extinction.
Endangered animals and plants are often the target of wildlife crime because of their rarity and increased economic value.
Furthermore, illegal trade negatively impacts a countryâ¿¿s natural resources and local communities that might otherwise benefit from tourism or legal, sustainable trade.
Recognizing the urgent need for a coordinated response to this growing global crisis, the United States issued the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking (CWT).
Released in 2014, this strategy sets forth a robust, whole-of-government approach that focuses on three key objectives to stop wildlife trafficking â¿¿ strengthening enforcement, reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife, and expanding international cooperation.
The National Strategy was further reinforced by the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act passed in 2016 with bipartisan support, and by Executive Order 13773, signed by President Trump on February 9, 2017, calling for a comprehensive and decisive approach to dismantle organized crime syndicates, including those associated with wildlife trafficking.