David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

Protecting wildlife with a progressive trade policy

One day before the UN World Wildlife Day, the European Parliament today adopted a report on how EU trade policy can contribute to the fight against wildlife trafficking and preserve biodiversity.

Wildlife trafficking is an enormously profitable criminal activity estimated at EUR 20 billion yearly revenue. The EU leads efforts in tackling both the supply and demand side of poaching and the trafficking of protected species.

Scottish MEP David Martin and shadow rapporteur of the report, said:

“The EU is not only an important destination for illegal wildlife products but also a crucial transit route. The EU must do its utmost to stamp out this awful trade which threatens endangered species and fragile ecosystems.

“Firstly, wildlife crime must be tackled in the EU’s external trade policy. Free trade agreements are an excellent opportunity to strengthen international rules on this through commitments in ambitious trade and sustainable development chapters. The recently negotiated EU-Vietnam trade deal pays close attention to wildlife sustainability and in this respect, must be a model for future trade negotiations.

“Secondly, existing EU measures must be implemented effectively, especially at member state level. All EU countries must take responsibility for this issue.”

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