WEARSIDE MP Sharon Hodgson has backed a campaign to crackdown on wildlife crime.
The Washington and Sunderland West MP joined campaigners and Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP at the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) Wildlife Crime – The Fightback event at the House of Commons, and called on the Government to take the lead on the international stage to stamp out wildlife crime.
Some of the planet’s most iconic species are being pushed to the brink of extinction by wildlife crime. The illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, poaching of wild tigers for their parts, smuggling of rare birds and reptiles for the pet trade,and the use of endangered animals in traditional Asian medicines are decimating wild populations.
In addition it drew attention to the fact that it is now widely acknowledged that those involved in wildlife crime are often organised criminal syndicates that also deal in illegal drugs and arms.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Hodgson said: “It was shocking to hear about the scale and impact of illegal trade in endangered species, especially given that we’re now in the 21st Century and there is a strong international consensus that these species need to be preserved and protected.
“I therefore fully support IFAW’s campaign to stamp out wildlife crime, as I’m sure many of my constituents will too, and I implore the Government to lead the way on international efforts in this area.”
Robbie Marsland, UK director of IFAW, said: “We are very grateful to Sharon for showing her commitment to halting wildlife crime.”