Animal Smuggling

Topics: Smuggling, National Geographic Society, Conservation biology Pages: 4 (1402 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Imagine walking through a American airport and you notice a woman’s skirt flapping up and down. At first thought you think nothing of it, but at second glance you you see feathers falling to the floor and two beautiful toucan parrots trying to make a last chance escape from the airport. One would think this never happens, but in all actuality these toucan parrots were drugged with dangerous tranquilizers and are a long ways from home. These birds are just a fraction of the ten billion dollar industry ones come to know as animal smuggling in North America (Smithsonian Magazine). With more than thirty eight million different species being smuggled into the states each year wildlife officers and custom officials have there hands full on tackling this huge pandemic. Animal smuggling is classified as the third most valuable illicit commerce in the world, according to the U.S. State Department (Smithsonian Magazine). Animal trafficking is an illegal form of modern day slavery. Animals are not property and they are unfortunately being used in many different ways. As human beings we can make a difference to stop this despicable business. By definition the word smuggling means the secret movement of goods across national borders to avoid customs duties or import restrictions (National Geographic Kids). This usually occurs when either customs duties are high enough to allow a smuggler to make a large profit on the clandestine goods or when there is a strong demand for prohibited goods. Federal law prohibits the importation of a number of items that are injurious to public health or welfare. To combat smuggling, custom agents have the authority to search an individual and one's baggage or any containers sent into the country. In America anyone who is guilty of knowingly smuggling any goods that are prohibited by law or aids in the commission of one of these acts can be charged with a felony and can also be assessed civil penalties (New Scientist). These...

Cited: Smithsonian Magazine, “Wildlife Trafficking” December 2009
New York Times “Trafficking of Wildlife, Out of Reach Law” March 4, 2013 pg A4
Ingber, Sasha “The Price of Ivory” National Geographic News Jan. 30, 2013
Scanlon, John E “An Uncertain Future for African Elephants” Queen Sirikit National March 14,2013
Baird, Kristin “Animal Smuggling Crime Airports” National Geographic Kids Jun/Jul 2005 pg.26-27
Glausiusz, Josie “Far from the forest of the night” Natural History, February 2008 pg.40-44
Bauerlein, Monika “The Business of Poaching” Mother Jones Jul/Aug 2005, vol30 issue4, pg 64-69
Rosaleen, Duffy “Your Role in Wildlife Crime” New Scientist Sept 11 2010 vol.207 issue 2777 pg 28
Hancock, Lee “The Buck Stops Here” Texas Monthly Jan 2012 vol40 issue 1 pg74-88
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