On 10 July, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime released this report, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that wildlife crime is a threat not only to the environment and biodiversity, but also to human health. It points out that zoonotic diseases represent up to 75% of all emerging infectious diseases and include SARS-CoV-2 that caused the COVID-19 pandemic. The report draws heavily on UNODC’s World WISE database, which contains almost 180,000 seizures from 149 countries and territories. The database shows that nearly 6,000 species have been seized between 1999-2019, including not only mammals but reptiles, corals, birds, and fish. It also says that, like many other markets, trade in wildlife and wildlife products have also expanded into the digital sphere; and argues the need for stronger criminal justice systems focusing on improving legal frameworks and strengthening the prosecutorial and judicial process.
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