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CNET News Video: Tracking Internet wildlife trade

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CNET News Video: Tracking Internet wildlife trade

1:42 /

At a press conference in San Francisco, Jeffrey Flocken and Barbara Cartwright of the International Fund for Animal Welfare talk about their organization's report, "Killing with Keystrokes." The 38-page document details the illegal trade in endangered species over the Internet. It's the result of a six-week investigation that tracked more than 7,000 wildlife product listings on 185 Web sites.

[music ] ^m00:00:05 >> IFAW's recent 3 month investigation into the internet to wildlife trade, uncovered a massive network of sellers and buyers, both those who were casual and dedicated, who used the internet sites to bypass national and international prohibitions on the sale of endangered and protected animals. >> We found over 1,000 items from endangered and protected species advertised on the web every week, on nearly 183 publicly accessible websites. >> Most of the buying and selling is happening in the United States; we found that two-thirds of it approximately, was coming out of the U. S. The number one thing we find were elephant parts, primarily ivory, that constitute about 73 percent of the global trade. Other products which were less common were also out there included: big cat skins, leopard skins, jaguars, ocelots, also reptile skin products such as bags and purses. >> The internet trade is but one aspect of a much larger global wildlife black market; a black market that officials estimate to be worth over 20 billion dollars a year. This report is the product of a 2 phase, 3 month investigation carried out simultaneously in 11 countries. >> 52 percent of the listings on eBay Canada were actually posted by Americans - showing that U. S. citizens are driving the trade beyond U. S. borders. >> The bad guys are still out there. There are quite a few dedicated people who traffic in ivory, selling and buying, and we're hoping that with this ban, they'll become more obvious to law enforcement officers; that those people will be more readily identified and can then be found by the proper authorities. [ music ]

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