Prince William has described animal trafficking and poaching as an ‘evil crime’ in the first meeting of the United For Wildlife Joint Taskforce.
United For Wildlife, spearheaded by the Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, ‘fights to save endangered species like elephants, rhinos, tigers, and pangolins’.
According to the organization, its first few years have been a success, with five seizures of illegal wildlife products, eight alleged wildlife traffickers arrested and 23 law enforcement investigations supported by the Transport Taskforce information sharing system.
‘Do everything we can’
According to the Mirror, speaking at the event, Prince William said: “Our motivation in doing this work is that we are going to play our part, we are going to do everything we possibly can to prevent the extinction of some of the world’s most iconic species by poaching or by criminal networks.
“In the last four months, there have been nine significant seizures in South East Asian countries alone involving tonnes of pangolin scales, rhino horns, and ivory.
“I have stood at meetings like this many times over the years, where we have all discussed how important we think it is to end the illegal wildlife trade, and all shared our fears for the future.
“But we must, we must ensure these words become action. We must start to see the people behind this evil crime behind bars.”
Royal family controversy
Despite Prince William’s strong feelings against the poaching and trafficking of some animals, the Royal Family is often criticized for taking part in bloodsports, including fox hunting and shooting.
Earlier this year, vegan star Chris Packham, said he planned to have some ‘cheeky little words‘ with the Royals about hunting when going to collect his CBE from Buckingham Palace.
In an interview with Radio Times, Packham said: “You don’t get many opportunities in life, and sometimes people are a little bit shy, but if I meet someone of influence I will use that opportunity.
“Nobody ever gets off the hook around me. I don’t care if it’s a bit clumsy, I don’t care if it can be deemed inappropriate… It’s important to say something.”