Over 100 websites are being used to buy and sell rare animals and their body parts, according to a list released by the Indian government.
The 106 websites include home-grown ventures such as Snapdeal, Quikr, and Olx, American e-commerce companies eBay and Amazon.com, video-sharing website YouTube, and China’s Alibaba.com and Aliexpress.com.
“Several websites are seen advertising [the] sale of rare animals and their parts,” environment minister Anil Madhav Dave said replying to a query in the Rajya Sabha on July 18. The central government’s IT department is monitoring these websites “as part of combating cybercrime,” Dave said.
Olx, eBay, and Snapdeal did not respond to email queries from Quartz.
On May 19, environment ministry officials met representatives of these websites to discuss online wildlife trade. During the meeting, the officials asked them to assist the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, if needed. The ministry is also working with cyber crime specialists to monitor any posts offering to trade in rare animals or their body parts, Dave said.
“In May this year, Amazon India took down 296 items in the ‘animal specimen’ category and 104 items under the ‘snares or traps’ category that were listed by third party sellers, after Wildlife SOS drew our attention to them,” Amazon India spokesperson said. “We have since engaged with the government and provided our utmost support to help monitor the situation.”
Here’s the full list:
|List of websites flagged by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau|