Target: Director Daniel M. Ashe
Goal: Applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their efforts in reducing wildlife trafficking
Recently two men were arrested by federal agents for trying to sell two horns of the endangered black rhino. Their arrest happened because of the combined efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Justice Department, who are collaborating together in an effort to reduce animal trafficking. The wildlife department should be applauded for their commitment to animals and reducing the demand for ivory products.
In an operation dubbed “Crash” the two departments are participating in a massive crime investigation into the illegal wildlife trade of rhino horns. All rhinoceroses in Africa and Asian are under threat by poachers who are injuring and killing these animals for their horns. The supply largely comes from Vietnam or China, where the horns are used for traditional medicines or decorative cups.
Operation Crash arrested 17 people with nine convictions. Included among those arrested was a member of an Irish gang, New York and Chinese antique dealers, and Chinese nationals. Unfortunately, the demand for horns is growing. Ten years ago, a federal agent could buy a horn for $17,000, that amount ha spiked to $25,000 a pound. What’s worse is the fact that narcotics are being found inside crates of elephant tusks and rhino horns. Regrettably, the drug and wildlife trade have since been tied together, and both are extremely profitable.
What is disturbing that those who were caught in the illegal drug trade have jumped into the wildlife trade because it is so profitable. It is disturbing because instead being a crime sprung from opportunity, the wildlife trade has become an organized crime.
Work to protect rhinos and elephants will continue for years to come, and hopefully these animals will continue to exist on our planet. Sign this petition and applaud those that helped to arrest criminals who slaughtered animals for their horns.
Dear Director Daniel M. Ashe,
I want to applaud your department for their continued commitment to animals and their participation in Operation Crash. I understand that the illegal wildlife trade is a profitable and massive one. Tackling a problem this size must be daunting, but continue to do so for the animal’s sake.
It saddens me that the demand and price for rhino horns continues to go up. It also frustrates me that these poachers don’t realize that these animals could disappear if their efforts continue. Know that you will have my everlasting support towards saving these animals. They deserve a place on our planet and we don’t have the right to take that from them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ryan Kilpatrick via flickr