Tag Archives: Wildlife

COVID19: EU citizens food safety concerns at rise

BRUSSELS, 15 April 2020 – “In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we call on EU leaders to urgently steer the EU towards sustainable and resilient food systems. We were one of 40 environmental, health and animal welfare NGOs to send the EU Commission an open letter, urging it to act without any further delays in overhauling its food and farming system. Now more than ever, the EU needs to mitigate the risk of new pandemics and to encourage healthier diets.

“Covid-19 has strikingly brought to light some of the dysfunctions of our current globalised and unsustainable food systems, including the link between the increased emergence of zoonoses and intensive animal farming and the lack of regard for other species which has consequences worldwide.

“Now more than ever, the EU needs to create resilient food systems and diminish the risk of new pandemics.

“The loss of habitat and the exploitation of wildlife through hunting and trade lie at the heart of this latest pandemic. Protecting the environment, restoring biodiversity and making significant reductions in the production and consumption of animal products are urgently needed to bring a true shift towards sustainable food production and humane farming systems. Intensive animal farming, high stocking densities and confining animals in small cages put us all at great risk for the spread of disease. Our societies simply cannot afford another pandemic. We must put an end to intensive farming, now.

“The Farm to Fork Strategy is the way to do it!” Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming.

“During these times of crisis, it has become crystal clear that our diets are particularly inept to deal with major health threats. Diets heavily reliant on animal products are linked to serious health issues. Intensive animal farming is linked to the emergence of superbugs and the development of anti-microbial resistance leading to the inability of our medicines to deal with them efficiently. Let’s mend this broken system. Let’s bring forward a food and farming revolution via the Farm to Fork Strategy. Let’s promote healthier, plant-rich foods!” Kikou added.

Europol tracks wildlife crime

 

Europol Director Rob Wainwright met with Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC, at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague today to discuss further cooperation in fighting environmental crime, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties in 2016.

The scope of the MoU is to facilitate the exchange of information and support, as well as to improve coordination between the two organisations to fight environmental crime, particularly the illegal trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

“Europol is pleased to extend its partnerships in this area as a means by which to help protect the environment and our economies. Countering environmental crime also supports broader efforts to combat other crimes such as corruption, money laundering, counterfeiting, fraud, forgery, and sometimes even terrorism or drugs trafficking,” – Europol Director Rob Wainwright highlighted.

“Wildlife trafficking is a global issue that must be addressed through international collaborations: TRAFFIC looks forward to supporting Europol to fulfil its challenging role in addressing wildlife crime through providing strategic assessments and operational support to EU Member States”,- said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.

Environmental crimes represent a highly lucrative business, especially for organised crime groups, as these offences are harder to detect and sanctions are lower in comparison with other crime areas. The transnational nature of environmental crimes has led to the need for enhanced cooperation between law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations, making strategic agreements crucial in the fight against the trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

In addition, the EU is a key transit point for illegal trade in wildlife, notably between Africa and Asia. Given TRAFFIC’s presence on five continents, the MoU enables Europol to reinforce its position in dealing with this emerging threat.

This initiative is also in line with the EU Action Plan aimed at combating wildefaire trafficing  in which Europol plays an important part.