To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the trade (a) in the UK and (b) internationally in illegal medicines made from endangered species.
The UK is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates international trade in endangered species. Tackling the illegal trade in products regulated under CITES, including Medicinal and Health Products, is one of the UK’s six current wildlife crime priorities.
In 2013 UK Border Force officers made 569 seizures under CITES regulations. Among the items seized were more than 700,000 units of medicines made from parts, or derivatives, of endangered species.
The UK Government is committed to working with our international partners to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. In February 2014 the UK hosted a major conference of global leaders to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect some of the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction. Over 40 nations attended. The result was the London Conference Declaration, containing 25 commitments to action on enforcement and criminal justice, eradicating the market for illegal wildlife products and sustainable livelihoods.
We have designed a £10 million package, over four years, to support efforts around the world aimed at tackling the illegal wildlife trade. As part of this package, we are supporting projects which address the rising demand for illegal wildlife products, including demand for medicines made from endangered species, in China and Vietnam.