International Trade in Animals and Animal Parts

Jennifer Maher, Tanya Wyatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the abuse inflicted upon wildlife smuggled to fill the demand for the illegal wildlife trade (IWT), and the abuse that is inherent in the legal wildlife trade. It begins with an overview of the extent of both trades, focusing on the key regions of the world where these occur. The next section identifies the routine abuse, suffering and death experienced by animal victims within these trades. The authors argue that being captured, smuggled, possibly dying, or living a life in pain and/or confinement are all forms of animal abuse. Consequently, there is not a single case of wildlife trade where an animal does not suffer in some fashion. The chapter then explores the motivations for engaging in the wildlife trade, using two criminological theories to help explain offender’s behaviour in the illegal trade. This is followed by an evaluation of current responses to illegal wildlife trade, with a particular focus on the official UK response. The current response is limited, partly due to existing loopholes in regulations and limitations in the political, enforcement and judicial responses but also, and perhaps more importantly, by our inability to reduce demand and prevent the killing/capture in the first place.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave International Handbook of Animal Abuse Studies
EditorsJennifer Maher, Harriet Pierpoint, Piers Beirne
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-43183-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-43182-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • illegal wildlife trade
  • IWT
  • illegal wildlife trafficking
  • animal abuse
  • animals in the wild
  • green criminology


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