Illegal poaching and trade of wildlife is a massive problem for developing countries, particularly those in Asia. Often these products find their way across boarders—stuffed into suitcases, packed into trucks, and occasionally carried. Protected and endangered species are killed and sold for their organs, flesh, bones, skin, and scales, which are turned into tonics, ornaments, meat, and traditional medicines.
Of course this is an environmental problem. Many of these animals are endangered or protected. Of all the illegal wildlife product seizures in Australia last year, two-thirds were traditional medicines containing ingredients from endangered species. But this is also a development problem and a security one, too.
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) has estimated that the illegal trade in wildlife, excluding fishing, among residents of developing countries generates about US$8-10 billion annually.
Via Dan Costa