Mexican Wildlife Trade is Out of Control and Wild Animals are Openly Sold on Social Media

Mexican Wildlife Trade is Out of Control and Wild Animals are Openly Sold on Social Media

A report from an environmental group said that wild animals are increasingly sold on social media platforms as wildlife trafficking in Mexico increasingly threatens several species.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said that the illegal wildlife trade is openly and increasingly selling animals such as toucans, monkeys, bears, and jaguars on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Illegal wildlife trafficking has an irreversible impact on ecosystems, the environmental group’s report says.

The environmental group has filed a complaint to Mexican state prosecutors, arguing that their weak regulations are allowing illegal wildlife trafficking to continue.

“Wildlife trafficking in Mexico is out of control,” the report read.

The group claims that there are small and relaxed penalties, a lack of political will, and unregulated markets despite there being laws in place to prohibit the illegal trade of protected species.

The report says that the special prosecutor’s office in Mexico had tackled internet wildlife trafficking until the beginning of 2019, but the office was shut down to save money under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

“Budget cuts to the environmental agency responsible for verifying, monitoring, and inspecting the sale of wildlife in Mexico have allowed the problem to continue to grow,” the report noted.

Taking these animals from the wild for our enjoyment is driving them toward extinction, which not only eliminates a species but puts others in danger by disrupting delicate ecosystems. Exotic animals belong in the wild.

If the demand for exotic pets did not exist, the exotic pet trade would not exist. So, if you agree that keeping exotic animals as pets is cruel, don’t support it either. Do not buy from pet shops or dealers. Leave the wild in the wild. Animal shelters are filled with cats and dogs who need loving families and homes.

You can also support the legislation to ban the ownership of exotic animals. These animals need us to speak for them, so if you see an exotic animal living in terrible conditions as a pet (or one that is illegally owned) say something!

You can report suspected abuse to local police, who can take necessary action. This small action might not make a difference for every animal suffering in the exotic pet trade, but it will make all the difference for that one creature!

You can also share this post to spread the word about exotic pets and show the world why this “fad” has got to go.

Social media platforms are aware that criminal trade in wildlife is happening, and they must take responsibility for their involvement in this threat to global biodiversity.

This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 13 November 2022. 

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