Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has shown her commitment to protecting animals by pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) campaign against wildlife crime.
Dr Whiteford attended IFAW’s ‘Wildlife Crime – The Fightback’ event at the House of Commons, which was hosted by Neil Parish MP, chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare.
Key speakers included Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP, and Kelvin Alie, Wildlife Crime Programme Director, IFAW.
The SNP MP posed in front of a large elephant poster to highlight the issue and send a clear message that she wants the UK to take the lead in the international community to stamp out wildlife crime.
IFAW’s event highlighted that some of the planet’s most iconic species are being pushed to the brink of extinction by wildlife crime.
The illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, poaching of wild tigers for their parts, smuggling of rare birds and reptiles for the pet trade and the use of endangered animals in traditional Asian medicines are decimating wild populations.
In addition it drew attention to the fact that it is now widely acknowledged that those involved in wildlife crime are often organised criminal syndicates that also deal in illegal drugs and arms.
This was echoed last year, when Hillary Clinton, then US Secretary of State, said: “Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organised, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before.
“Wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world”.
Commenting on the campaign, the Banff and Buchan MP said: “It was shocking to hear about the scale and impact of illegal trade in endangered species.
“I fully support IFAW’s campaign to stamp out wildlife crime, and urge my constituents to lend their support too.”
Robbie Marsland, UK director of IFAW, added: “Wildlife crime is pushing elephants, rhinos, tigers and many other species to the brink of extinction.
“We are very grateful to Eilidh for showing her commitment to halting wildlife crime by attending our event.”