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The report which was presented on the 12th February by DLA Piper Partners Michael Lebovitz and Alex Monk at the International Wildlife Trafficking Symposium, an event attended by The Duke of Cambridge, hosted by the Zoological Society of London.

The illegal trade in wildlife has continued to proliferate to the point where it ranks behind only illegal trafficking in drugs, guns and human beings in the value of the trade itself. The report explores legislative and judicial challenges relating to wildlife trade in 24 key countries including Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.

Our report reveals that there are a number of weaknesses in the legislation of each country that are exploited to allow the illegal trade of wildlife. There are substantial inconsistencies in terms of the penalties for violating local law and every report identifies issues with judicial procedure and capacity. Significant work needs to be done in every country in order to effectively tackle the illegal wildlife trade and we are honoured to have been able to support United for Wildlife on this very important project.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Global CEO and Managing Partner of DLA Piper

Each country report gives an overview of principal legislation on trade in wildlife, criminal penalties, ancillary legislation such as anti-corruption legislation that can be used to prosecute, assesses the local judicial process and capacity to enforce and concludes with recommendations.

A team of 55 lawyers from 15 DLA Piper offices around the world gave in excess of 1350 hours to the project. The team was led by partner Michael Lebovitz, UK Pro Bono Manager Heidi Newbigging and Alice Puritz, all from DLA Piper’s London office.