Since the military coup in Myanmar, the online trade in endangered animals has increased by 74%

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The online trade in animal species and endangered items has increased by 74% since the military coup on February 1 last year. % in 2021. The report, according to Sebastian Strangio, Southeast Asia editor at The Diplomat, “provides further evidence of the extent to which Myanmar’s already large illicit economy has swelled over the past 14 chaotic months since the coup, which have seen the formal economy a near collapse and political conflict inflamed across the country.

The conservation group noted that most of these transactions involved sales of live animals, including pangolins, which are hunted for their meat and for their scales, which have supposed medicinal benefits, The Diplomat reported.

Among the 173 species that have changed hands in online transactions are bears, gibbons, Tibetan antelopes and giant tortoises, as well as many species of monkeys that are often purchased as pets. Fifty-four of the identified species are threatened with global extinction, according to the report.

Trade in endangered wildlife, both live animals and animal parts, has long flourished in the border regions of Myanmar, Thailand and China. its size has amplified regional demand for exotic animal products, Strangio said.

The WWF report revealed that most transactions in Myanmar took place through Facebook. The group identified 639 Facebook accounts belonging to wildlife traders, in addition to a trade group that had more than 19,000 members. “, says the report.

In June 2021, advocacy group TRAFFIC reported that it had observed “a clear shift from physical marketplaces to e-commerce websites and social media platforms.” He said social media platforms are now “the preferred way for wildlife traffickers to connect with buyers in many parts of the world”.

The findings of the report are in many ways not surprising. Since the coup, the formal economy has atrophied, contracting by nearly a fifth in 2021, and the weakening of the central state has led Myanmar’s illicit economy to come to the fore. West, he’ll come to rely more on those underground cash flows, Strangio said.

Summary of news:

  • Since the military coup in Myanmar, the online trade in endangered animals has increased by 74%
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