The convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) covers about 5000 species of animals and 28 000 species of plants.
The main aim of this convention is to ensure trade does not threaten wildlife and protected species with extinction.
One of the areas in which such smuggling has been prolific is in Southeast Asia.
The reason is because the region is chock full of diverse wildlife.
The problem is exacerbated by a lack of resources to help protect such wildlife and uneven implementation of legal enforcement.
Malaysia and the US for example were listed as hubs with sophisticated infrastructure that facilitate such trade.
New challenges however are emerging.
Illegal wildlife trade has gone online. There are now websites selling exotic wildlife almost weekly.
New awareness programs may be needed to counter such developments.
One way is to have people voluntarily turn in such protected animals to the zoo.
Others may want to stop keeping such protected wildlife as pets.
Yong, Nicholas, “Drop in illegal wildlife trade here” dated 2 May 2009 in the Straits Times (Singapoire: SPH), 2009, p. C10.