Yesterday, I asked the Leader of the House, Chris Grayling MP, if he would allow us a debate to look at how we can better co-ordinate a UK government response to end this vile trade.
The Duke of Cambridge recently spoke out about this issue only last week. However, responsibility for Illegal Wildlife Trade rests within three different Departments: the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We can only tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade if the government has a coordinated action on those committing this murderous crime.
Illegal Wildlife Trade has changed radically from what it once was. No more is it local people desperately trying to earn cash in an impoverished nation. Now large international Kingpins operate from their homeland country where poaching laws are weak at best or non-existent at worst. Kingpins arrange are separated by middlemen who recruit locals to take up poaching. In a nation where the minimum agricultural wage is about $100 a month the promise by the middlemen of $5,000 for every Rhino horn we can see why a spike has occurred in poaching.
I believe we need to be doing more on the international stage, such as the appointment of a UN Special Envoy for Sustainable Development or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office directing its ambassadorial staff to lobby national governments to tighten their policing of Illegal Wildlife Trade.