'Folk' medicine's wildlife traffickers go social

15 December 2017

So-called "traditional" medicines represent an outsized proportion of wildlife smuggling, some 42 percent in the European Union alone. And for traffickers, old black market channels are starting to take a back seat to social media. Matthew Larotonda reports. WORLD WILDLIFE FUND POLICY DIRECTOR, COLMAN CRIODAN  said "It's been a moving target. In days gone past and to some extent now it was being conducted through physical shops, then increasingly through websites. And now it's evolved even further, the trade is going on through WhatsApp groups and other communications, social media groups. And these often work on the basis of networks of phone numbers of known sellers and buyers  so it's quite a clever way of operating and quite difficult to pin down."

 WORLD WILDLIFE FUND POLICY DIRECTOR, COLMAN CRIODAN said "Because it's probably the most secure way of keeping this trade out of the hands of the enforcement authorities, going through social media is much more difficult to infiltrate."