Wildlife trafficking is not a new phenomenon, but its scale, nature and impacts have changed considerably in recent years. Poaching has reached unprecedented levels for some species, and the world is currently facing a dramatic surge in wildlife trafficking.
Wildlife trafficking has become one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide, with devastating effects for biodiversity and negative impact on the rule of law due to its close links with corruption. Its role in financing militia and terrorist groups has been mentioned in the recently proposed EU Action Plan on the fight against terrorist financing. The EU has an important role to play in addressing this traffic, as Europe is currently a destination market, a hub for trafficking in transit to other regions, as well as, for some species, the source region for illegal trade.