POACHING: A PLAGUE ON OUR ECOSYSTEM.

Ivory, fine leathers, horns, bones and strange medicines. Precious products, desired by many but whose realization involves enormous damage to ecosystems around the world. Very often, in fact, these materials are collected through illegal collection in various areas of the world, by organized and increasingly widespread criminal groups. It is poaching, a harmful, pervasive, fought phenomenon that kills millions of victims every year, billing tens of billions. Stained with blood. It is in fact an illegal hunting activity that completely ignores current regulations and is aimed at bringing precious objects and materials resulting from the indiscriminate and illegal capture of rare, endangered species to distant (and rich) countries. They often come from developing countries that could have an economic return of a tourist nature from the presence of these (live) animals. But not only that. Those who simply capture or kill protected species or those who hunt in areas subject to prohibitions or during unauthorized periods are also identified as poacers. Poaching, accompanied by trade in endangered species, is in fact not only a sadly widespread phenomenon, but an inevitable cause of the impoverishment of ecosystems around the world, having brought various animal species to the brink of extinction.In this regard, in 2018 the WWF published the “Poaching Connection” report in which it collected data, causes and implications of an extremely phenomenon that seems impossible to stop. According to this document, poaching represents a real business for over 20 billion a year from  which it is impossible to separate the phenomenon of illegal fishing, which alone involves a turnover of 11 to 30 billion every year. The animals are hunted down, captured and killed for their skin, their teeth, their bones, and for making “potions”, medicines and talismans. According to the UNDC, the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, there are at least 7,000 animal species in the world threatened by poaching activities as well as the elephant for its tusks, the walrus for its horn, the pangolin for its meat and its ‘magic’ scales, the tiger for its skin and various body parts used for potions and medicines. And so many other animals, which the rangers are struggling to defend from an increasingly organised criminal network that manages to involve a very long supply chain capable of crossing entire continents, transporting these animals across the ocean and even expanding into the Web. In fact, many natural species can be sold illegally through the Internet.             

There is not much to say, the poacher is a thief, a person who steals from his community an asset that belongs to everyone. He is selfish because he acts for personal profit, thinking that his own interests have priority over the common ones; he is a criminal because he does not respect the basic rules of civil life and takes away a precious good. We must monitor their conduct and make sure that the right punishment for those who do not observe the rules becomes operational. It sometimes happens that the proceedings against them are lengthy and cumbersome. Let us fight this malpractice, stop this havoc and with strength and courage restore civilisation.

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Aquilia Guido

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