An Indian animal welfare activist alleges that the trafficking in wildlife is being used to fund terrorism.
Frankly I don't doubt it. If you wanted to raise a little illegal cash, what would you rather deal in, deer musk and bear gall bladders, or heroin? The penalties are obviously very different if you get caught. And the weight to value ratio is probably similar.
The ceaseless demand for exotic animal food and animal skin luxury goods continue to fuel the trafficking of animals, and money from this illegal trade is being used to fund terrorism activities, according to Maneka Gandhi, an ardent animal activist in India.
She cautions that the heinous crime continues, with minuscule efforts taken to curb trafficking of wildlife -- making it the world's third largest crime after drugs and arms smuggling.
"Animal trafficking is exceeding arms trafficking and drugs trafficking. In fact, the same criminals who are doing drug trafficking are doing wildlife trafficking as well.
"And the money that comes from wildlife (trafficking) is going into guns and terrorism, that's the frightening part of it.
"We have recorded (statements) from people who have actually taken panther skin from here (India) to Nepal and exchanged it for guns and bombs, and I have no doubt it is a worldwide phenomenon," Maneka, founder of the popular People Against Animals movement that campaigns for animal rights, told Bernama in an interview.
Photo by PrASanGaM