FWS invites comments for meeting of the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking (May 6, 2014)

​Formal Title: FR Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-0019; Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking; Meeting (May 6, 2014)

Brief Description:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a public meeting of the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking and invites submissions of questions and information for consideration during the meeting. The Council's purpose is to provide expertise and support to the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking.

Excerpts from the AVMA Response:

As an advocate for animal health and welfare and a member of the Multinational Species Coalition, the AVMA is concerned about the possible extinction of many animal species and supports the establishment and maintenance of effective actions for the conservation of wild animals in their native habitats.
We are painfully aware that the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts utilizes brutally inhumane means, including the use of chainsaws and axes by poachers on live rhinoceroses and elephants to take horns and ivory.  In addition to the suffering of individual animals targeted by poachers, we are further saddened by impacts poaching has on wildlife populations and ecosystems and are worried about disease risks that trafficked animals or their parts pose to animal and public health.
Recognizing that enforcement resources are limited and that current punishments for convicted violations do not seem to deter the illicit trade or the societal components feeding it, we strongly agree that the priority and resources to combat wildlife trafficking and the consequences for committing wildlife crimes greatly need to be elevated.  Additionally, we support public outreach and educational campaigns as well as anonymous wildlife crime hotlines to help curtail the illegal trade.
Furthermore, the AVMA supports reasonable regulations pertaining to legal ownership, possession, and disposition of wild animal species and their hybrids to better ensure proper animal welfare, husbandry, and health, while mitigating infectious disease spread, public health and safety risks, and negative environmental impacts, such as those to the wild animal populations of the species involved.  We expect authorities and policymakers to provide adequate funding and other resources to ensure effective enforcement of regulations pertaining to these animals.

Background Documents:

Relevant AVMA Policies: