On stress, on being cited, and on the illegal wildlife trade…

I won’t even begin to describe the stress levels we hit today. Let’s just say that it concerned a passport, belonging to someone booked on an overseas trip on the 17th December, which was suddenly discovered to be unusable even though it doesn’t expire for another 3 years, which in turn led to another problem…

It all ended well, due to some wonderful people, but until it was all resolved – after an incredible amount of running around – stress levels were sufficient to power a reactor.

Probably didn’t help that last night I went to a talk on the wildlife trade, which was unbelievably distressing. Why do people buy exotic pets? Don’t they know that for every pet delivered to a doting owner, there are tens, or more probably hundreds, that die horribly, miserably, within the trade? Buyers of exotic pets fuel the trade with their money. Because they buy, wild animals are captured and caged and die shockingly in the most vile of conditions, millions upon millions of them, each year.
Pet owners – yes, especially in the USA which is one of the two largest consumers – are a major cause of the slaughter and this torture of the defenseless. And if they have a “certificate” showing that the pet is captive-bred or otherwise “legal”, and we are not talking about say, budgerigars, then they are kidding themselves. They may as well have gone out into the wilds of the source country and blasted a few hundred animals of the same species, because their buying had the same effect.

Why are supposedly respectable, law-abiding agencies in countries that pride themselves on their Asian values of decency and compassion, turning a blind eye – even condoning the use of their international airport and and their international airline to “launder” and transport endangered species?

Why does Malaysian law enable a endangered species of reptile or tortoise/turtle – caught illegally in its country of origin and smuggled illegally into this country – to be openly and legally sold on the streets and in the pet shops? Why does that not seem to a cause for shame to Malaysia?

On a more pleasant note: I always get a kick out of having one of my non-fiction papers being cited, and this week both my husband and I had articles cited, in different papers, in the same scientific journal. Nice.



On stress, on being cited, and on the illegal wildlife trade… — 7 Comments

  1. Enough to make you weep blood, eh? I’m sure you must feel pretty hopeless and helpless, sometimes, shouting messages into the deaf ears of an uncaring world – but I hope you’ll keep on doing it. If your words allow even one endangered animal to stay in its natural habitat or make even one person decide against buying furniture made of rainforest timber, it will have been worth it.

    And may your good work be cited by many more learned journals too!:-)

  2. The budget for policing the illegal animal trafficking probably went to the dept. that bans books. 😮 Yes, that’s bitter cynical humour in the face of despair…

    I don’t suppose those non-fiction papers are online anywhere, are they? Links? :o)

  3. Whilst on the subject of illegal pets etc, there is a Msian who seems to be doing dubious things. See http://www.naturemalaysia.com/news.htm
    and on the herping guide and info page he says “Also bring along your snake hook, torch lights, headlamps and bags to place your catch.”. It’s as if he’s suggesting anyone go to the jungle to catch whatever they can. He was also running a reptile store, but has now closed down this page – under the personal box on his www.

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