Brazil: billion-dollar illicit traffic in animals

The billion-dollar animals trafficking industry is putting species in danger of extinction in Brazil.

The Brazilian Environment Ministry has revealed that criminals steal 38,000,000 animals a year from Brazil’s rain forest, an activity which generates one billion dollars in profits, after sales worth 20 billion USD.

A report was presented to the Environment Ministry by the National Network to Combat Trafficking of Forest Animals and was received by Jose Sarney Filho, the Environment Minister. It is the most comprehensive report to date on this problem.

Less than one per cent of the traffic is intercepted by the authorities. The species in question are mainly Jaguars, rare birds, poisonous snakes and spiders. The rule for the market abroad is basically, the more exotic, the better. This is also placing many species under threat of extinction.

A blue macaw (a kind of parrot) can fetch 60,000 USD on the black market, while the extremely poisonous Jararaca snake (a species of rattlesnake) can be sold for 20,000 USD. A jaguar skin can fetch 20,000 USD on the United States’ market.

There are an estimated 400 gangs involved in the illegal trafficking of animals, 40% of which are also involved in drugs trafficking, the resources of which they use in this alternative crime.


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Author`s name Editorial Team