Animal Market

Alejandro Olivares

2015 - 2021

The Amazon is the epicenter of the world animal trade. Every year, millions of wild animals are captured in the Amazon rainforest. Caimans, snakes, turtles, fish, birds, monkeys and big cats are traded every day in small fairs and large markets, as pets, exotic food, souvenirs for tourists, supposed natural remedies with dubious healing properties or for cosmetic experiments.

Illegal wildlife trafficking is the fourth most profitable illicit business worldwide, only after drug trafficking, arms trafficking and human trafficking. Its sale swells the pockets of species traffickers, an illegal activity that, according to the United Nations Environment Program, generates up to 23 billion dollars a year.

The Amazon stands out as one of the most biodiverse eco-regions in the world, and its remote borders between Amazonian countries are ideal places for traffickers to export wild animals.

In the Amazon rainforest, wild species are trapped by indigenous people, gold prospectors, peasants, farmers and cowboys, who supplement their income through this illegal activity.

In countries such as Brazil, there are no reliable data that give a reliable idea of how many illegal animals leave their territory. All kinds of species are trafficked across the borders of Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Bolivia, etc. without any control. In most of them there is no reliable data to give a reliable idea of how many illegal animals leave their territory.

There is often limited capacity to implement regulations to reduce illegal species trafficking. In the absence of political will and funding for wildlife protection, there is little incentive for sustainable use and conservation efforts.

Despite covid-19, which has exposed the dangers of zoonosis, during the pandemic this activity has not ceased and its control remains a challenge for the authorities of the Latin American countries that make up the Amazon rainforest.

*Zoonosis: any infectious disease that is naturally transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals.

Perú, Colombia, Brasil.

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