Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling for greater scrutiny of Facebook for their role in the illegal wildlife trade. Illegal wildlife trafficking is a big business, with traffickers using platforms like Facebook to illegally facilitate the sales of poached animal parts, and a variety of other products every single day. These illegal sales were estimated to grow from $10 billion in 2009 as estimated by the Department of State to $20 billion today as estimated by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
“As a sportsman and conservationist, I have consistently worked to protect global wildlife populations from poachers and other bad actors,” said Congressman Don Young. “Social media has helped connect the world, but unfortunately, it is also being used as a tool in the illegal wildlife trade. Facebook has not only allowed, but has profited from its users circumventing the law and using the platform for wildlife trafficking and illegal trade, and these practices must be investigated. I am proud to stand with my friend Congressman Garamendi as we call on the SEC to investigate Facebook and its role in the global illegal wildlife trade. It is my great hope that our efforts – including our legislation, the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act – will help turn the tide in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking.”
“Facebook and other major tech companies have facilitated wildlife trafficking and human rights abuses,” said Congressman John Garamendi. “They have created a black market that’s allowed traffickers and transnational criminal enterprises to flourish, and it is unconscionable to allow this to continue. Representative Young and I are working to end wildlife trafficking through our Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act, and we will work to ensure tech companies end their promotion of these crimes. I appreciate Representative Young’s partnership and concern for this issue.”
Click here to read the full letter.
Click here to read more about the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act.