The report by Liberal and Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder makes the following recommendations to tackle wildlife trafficking:
- Minimum prison sentences for wildlife traffickers across the EU by listing wildlife crime as a “serious crime” in accordance with the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
- Including wildlife crime in Europol’s 2017 “Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment” - giving it the same priority as drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering.
- Introducing a US style “Lacey Act” at EU level, to ensure that if a protected species in a source country has been illegally harvested from the wild, it is illegal to trade it in its destination country too.
- Establish an EU Wildlife Trafficking Coordinator to ensure a joined-up effort by the Member countries and Commission services and better and consistent reporting to tackle wildlife trafficking
- An immediate ban the ivory trade into and out of the EU, including ‘pre-Convention’ ivory and rhino horns.
ALDE MEP Bearder commented:
“For too long, wildlife traffickers have been getting off with a slap on the wrist. This is a serious and organised crime by efficient and international criminal gangs, who should be facing consistent sentencing across the EU."
“EU Governments must push for wildlife trafficking to be listed as a “serious and organised” crime by Europol, giving it the same priority as drug trafficking and money laundering."
“Elephants might be extinct in ten years’ time at the current rate of slaughter - the public want to see something done about this problem immediately and we must respond to this crisis now.
ALDE MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy said: “The EU Action Plan is a tipping point in the fight against wildlife crime. The Parliament report further reinforces the necessity of an integral approach, to be implemented at both a Union and national level. Now it is up to Member States and the Commission make haste and start implementing. Of the 32 actions proposed by the Commission, 24 should have started before the end of this year. We quickly want to receive the status of these actions from Commission and Council. There is no need for further meetings or words; we already have all the tools at our disposal. Time is of the essence.”
The report can be found here.