The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which works in all corners of the world to stop the illicit and brutal trade in wildlife, is proud to support the U.S. State Department in this urgently needed initiative.
Wildlife Conservation Day seeks to raise awareness about the harmful security, economic and environmental effects of wildlife poaching and trafficking; discourage consumer demand for products made from endangered species; and demonstrates efforts by citizens, activists, private corporations and governments to bring an end to the illicit wildlife trade.
In November, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said about the initiative, "(We are) spearheading a global outreach campaign which we will launch December 4th on Wildlife Conservation Day. Our embassies will use every tool at their disposal to raise awareness about this issue, from honoring local activists, to spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter. We want to make buying goods, products from trafficked wildlife, endangered species unacceptable, socially unacceptable. We want friends to tell friends they don't want friends who ingest, display or otherwise use products that come from endangered species anywhere in the world."
"Once concerned citizens around the world have signed the pledge they can take a number of other steps to make a difference for animals," said Kelvin Alie, Director of IFAW's Wildlife Crime and Consumer Awareness Program. "The easiest thing to do is not buy any wildlife souvenirs from this list. Focus instead on handicraft souvenirs that promote artisan professions without damaging wildlife."
To ensure consumers aren't unknowingly participating in the illicit trade in wildlife, IFAW urges people to think twice before purchasing the following items:
- Products made of exotic skins
- Elephant hair items
- Exotic birds
- Live reptiles
- Coral and Queen Conch shells
- Exotic wood
- Turtle shells
- Porcupine quill accessories
- Tiger-derived products such as bone wine, teeth or pelts
- Medicinal products claiming to contain rhino horn, bear bile or other animal derivatives
- Bird eggs or bird nests
- Shahtoosh wool products