Poaching Becoming Part Of Organized Crime

This is sad, serious, and very bad news.

Turns out that in their search for easy profits, organized crime gangs are increasingly turning to poaching and smuggling exotic animals. The risks are low, the profits are high, and the penalties are minuscule.

This article mainly caught my attention:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26153516

With a couple of very critical pieces of information:
Rhino poaching chart
Yeah - that's not good

But also this - which is just ridiculous:
"Thousands of rhinos, elephants, tigers and others have been slaughtered, becoming part of an illegal market that's worth an estimated $19bn a year.

Many criminals see it as low risk, high profit, says Mr Stewart.

"There is a lower risk of apprehension, it's unfortunate but law enforcement has not invested the resources in attacking wildlife crime as it has in other crimes," he explains.

"Even in courts the penalties are much lower. Just last year in Ireland, we saw two people arrested for smuggling rhino horns worth half a million euros. They received a 500-euro fine.""

500 Euro??? WTF?? Honestly - kind of like killing/beating dogs, I really think these should be treated with similar fines and penalties to the same kind of behavior against humans. 

I wonder - it is a situation where an extra-judicial answer such as Sea Shepherds to whaling may be the best answer. The issue of course is that unlike the Japanese who can arm up with non-lethal weaponry, these gangs would simple respond with AK-47's, which are in fact the most common gun used to hunt elephants and other big game. 

In the meantime, can we please increase the fines for this? Fining a poacher less than the cost of his plane ticket seems absolutely ridiculous. 

Ivory destruction

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