Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Save Rare Species Report

Dead elephant killed by poachers.


The international wildlife trade is a big business and a big problem. The illegal trade* is worth over £14 billion a year, and this exploitation is a huge threat to animal welfare and conservation. You’ll be horrified to hear, but human demand for wild animals, their parts and products, is having a massive and devastating impact. People are literally trading species to extinction and causing atrocious suffering along the way.

Many millions of animals - including elephants, lions, tigers, pangolins and rhinos - are killed and butchered every year so their body parts can be traded as food, ornaments, components of traditional medicines, and many other uses. Millions more - including cheetahs, reptiles, parrots and monkeys - are captured from the wild and smuggled live to be exotic pets, or used in zoos or laboratories.

It is a conservation crisis, threatening the survival of some of the world’s most iconic species. But it’s not just a numbers game. It’s also a welfare nightmare. The trade impacts on the well-being of countless individual wild animals, who suffer in silence because they can’t turn to the world and ask for help. Your gift today will help stop this exploitation.

Much of this wildlife trafficking is controlled by ruthless, highly-organised criminal gangs, which devastate the lives of wild animals and the people living close by. The income from ‘blood’ ivory, lion bones, rhino horn, tiger parts and more is fuelling conflict and terrorism.

Elephant killed by poachers

Elephants, lions, tigers, pangolins, rhinos, cheetahs and countless more species including parrots, sharks and reptiles are targeted for the global trade in wild animals. In the past, only the rich and politically elite could afford high-value wildlife products. But as wealth and disposable income has increased dramatically across the developing world, so has global demand for ivory, lion trophies, rhino horn, tiger bones etc, fuelling a voracious black market.

As increasing human populations move into wild areas, wildlife habitats are becoming more accessible, and animals more easily targeted, slaughtered and shipped across the globe. This is having a deadly impact but, undeterred and with your support, Born Free works tirelessly to save and protect animals. We do our best to ensure trade in threatened species is prohibited, and bans are enforced. We need to work with governments, other organisations and local communities to educate consumers, reduce demand, and protect wild animals on the ground. We rescue animals from appalling captive conditions for release into the wild, or lifelong care in sanctuaries.

It’s no easy task. There are many people with vested interests in exploiting wild animals. Traders and traffickers use their extensive influence and resources to oppose or circumvent restrictions that might limit their profits. Government officials and other decision-makers are influenced by the rich and powerful to turn a blind eye, or pull-up short of protecting species with economic value. This is why it’s so important Born Free fights for better protection for wildlife at the UN’s CITES* meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, starting 24th September 2016 until 5th October.

Tiger killed by poachers

Born Free has been attending CITES (‘sigh-teas’) meetings and encouraging member countries to ban trade in elephant ivory and other threatened species since 1989. CITES is an international treaty signed by 182 parties*, which aims to protect around 5,000 species of threatened animals and 30,000 species of plants.

The members meet every three years to discuss proposals from different parties to either restrict or facilitate trade in threatened species. If parties agree, CITES can list species on Appendix II, which regulates international trade, or Appendix I, which effectively bans international trade.

But there is huge pressure from the wealthy pro-trade lobby. Their campaigns to prevent trade restrictions or relax existing protection are very well-resourced. Born Free and our partners have just a fraction of these funds. But, with your help, we can be stronger by working together. We collaborate with over 100 like-minded organisations as part of the Species Survival Network (SSN). SSN ensures country delegations have the information they need, and fights for the highest possible levels of protection for the animals. Your gift today will help us produce important animal reports, factsheets and information flyers - these are absolutely vital and will have a huge impact.

SSN has worked within CITES to reduce the impact of international trade since 1993, when Born Free played a key role in its establishment. Will Travers has been SSN President since then. You can find out the full story about this year’s meeting and details of trade proposals to be discussed and the conclusions at CITES here.

Secure the future of lions

“The gruesome trade in wildlife is mushrooming out of control, killing is in freefall. This horrendous exploitation is pushing species to extinction and causing sickening anguish to individual animals. Please help stop the carnage.

Your donation will support Born Free as we attend the CITES meeting at the end of September. We will fight those determined to exploit elephants, lions, tigers, pangolins, rhinos, cheetahs and much much more. It is vital for animals that, with your help, we present the CITES member countries with the facts they need. With your help, and with every ounce of energy we possess, we will battle for the highest possible levels of protection for these precious species.

Wild animals are in mortal danger and numbers have declined dramatically. Extinction is a very real possibility for many species in trade. Africa without elephants? Without lions or rhinos? Asia without tigers? We can’t let this happen! If we’re to halt and reverse the alarming declines in wild species, the global community has got to stop viewing animals as mere commodities. If, like me, you care about wild animals for their intrinsic rather than their economic value, your support is needed more than ever before!”

Will Travers

President & CEO, Born Free Foundation

How your gift will help

We need to raise funds to fight tirelessly on your behalf to keep elephants, lions, tigers and more safe at CITES. Your gift whether £10, £25, £100, £1,000 or more will help stop wildlife trade AND protect animals in the wild.

*Excluding illegal fishing and trade in timber
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; CITES aims to regulate trade in threatened species so it doesn’t jeopardise their survival
*181 sovereign countries plus the EU
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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