Wildlife group: Exotic pets trade activity rises on Facebook

Mindy Sparks
September 12, 2018

A wildlife monitoring group says research it has conducted since 2016 has found that people are increasingly buying and selling endangered animals on Facebook groups in Thailand. Included for sale were both live and deceased animals, as well as animal parts.

BBC reports that Traffic researchers found listings for 200 species, including the black spotted turtle and the Eurasian otter, both of which are not native to Thailand and are barred from global trade. Most of the live animals for sale were prized as pets.

Slightly over half (105) of the species Traffic viewed for sale through the groups are protected under Thailand's Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, and the other half (95) are not regulated or protected in the country.

Among the 200 different species listed for sale were two non-native species banned from worldwide commercial trade - the Eurasian otter and the black spotted turtle. The number of people in the groups with animal trade listings had doubled from 106,111 members in 2016 to 203,445 in 2018. One listing offered a Helmeted Hornbill-a critically endangered species.

"Growing online wildlife trade will only pile further pressure on threatened non-native species that now have no legal protection or regulation", said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Traffic's acting regional director in southeast Asia.


"Growing online wildlife trade will only pile further pressure on threatened non-native species that now have no legal protection or regulation", Kanitha Krishnasamy, Traffic's acting regional director in southeast Asia, told the BBC.

Facebook told the outlet that such listings violate its community standards and that it would delete the material as soon it's aware of it.

Facebook said it did not allow the trade of endangered species.

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