Phillips C J C (10)
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9: Trade in Wildlife and Exotic Species

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Wildlife and Exotic

Species

9

9.1  Introduction

Wildlife animals have been traded for millennia, probably even before the

­domestication of animal species for the production of food and clothing. Yet despite the development of a small number of domesticated species to provide for most of our needs, we have continued to harvest and trade in wildlife and exotic species. Exotic species are those that are not indigenous to the region, which usually precludes the domestic livestock species. These are kept by zoos, for the entertainment of the public and increasingly for conservation and for scientific purposes. Their use for entertainment in circuses is diminishing as public recognition of associated cruel practices in training and transport between venues has increased, creating public pressure for legislative control. They are also kept by a growing number of members of the public for display and a variety of other reasons that will be outlined later. Wildlife animals are harvested for food as well and may be traded with other regions because their exotic and novel nature encourages people to try eating them. The biggest harvest of wild animals, indeed the biggest of any food animals, is that of fish from the oceans. However, many other animals are harvested from the oceans and our scant knowledge of populations in the past has led to many manmade catastrophes, with populations decimated because of high demand for the products and mechanized harvesting of ever ­increasing efficiency.

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8: Trade in Horses, Cats and Dogs

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Horses, Cats and

Dogs

8

8.1  Introduction

Horses, cats and dogs share a common usage as companion animals but they can also variously be used as racing animals (horses and dogs), for meat production

(horses mostly, sometimes dogs and very occasionally cats), milk production (horses) and fur production (cats and dogs). Because these animals supply specialist markets, not mainstream like cattle and chickens, trade is often local. The trade is often not regulated as well as the livestock trade, frequently covert and sometimes illegal.

8.2  Horses

Horse trading has a long history, with evidence of activity in central Asia around

1000 bce (Wagner et al., 2011). The close relation between owner and horse makes the transaction very reliant on the owner’s report of the characteristics of the horse. The potential for deceit in this activity has given the term ‘horse trading’ special meaning in relation to business deals.

According to the World Horse Organization (WHO, 2015), there are now approximately 58 million horses worldwide, with 16% in the USA, 13% in China,

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4: Trade in Meat

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Trade in Meat

4

4.1  Introduction

Humans are not anatomically or physiologically designed to eat raw meat. The absence of elongated canine teeth makes tearing through raw meat difficult and the relatively high pH in our stomachs renders us susceptible to food poisoning if the flesh is at all contaminated. For our ancestors the infrequency of successful hunts would have made contamination of stored meat likely. However, their ability to master fire provided a method of processing meat to make it more easily consumed and less likely to be contaminated. Hence for as long as prehistoric records are available, meat consumption has been a part of the human diet. Our ancestors’ advanced ability to communicate facilitated complex hunting methods, luring animals into traps for example. Cave paintings suggest that there were ritual gatherings before the hunt, perhaps even with music and hallucinogenic drugs, which bonded the males together to improve their performance in the hunt.

Hunting for meat provided an alternative to the long process of gathering nutrients from plant life, which varied with climate and season and often required a nomadic lifestyle to follow the geographic availability of suitable plants. The nutrient demands for hunting, gathering and nomadism were considerable, and meat was able to provide the highly digestible food needed. Nevertheless, the risks involved and uncertainty in finding food meant that life was short, typically 25–40 years. With the coming of agriculture, and the development of improved plants, principally cereals, with higher seed yields, a settled way of life became possible and it was no longer necessary to hunt animals for meat. However, in colder parts of the world, particularly the northern parts of the northern hemisphere, meat consumption remained necessary because it could provide the nutrients needed, and in these regions crop growth was limited. Over the last 1000 years people from these regions came to colonize most of the rest of the world and the colonizers took their meat-eating habits with them. For example, the British colonies covered one-third of the world at the beginning of the 20th century,

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3: Trade Wars, Sanctions and Discrimination

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade Wars, Sanctions and

Discrimination

3

3.1  Introduction

When the British Raj in India was attacked by local tribesmen in 1897, within hours ‘astute financiers were considering in what degree their action had affected the ratio between silver and gold’ (Churchill, 1964). Observing this, Churchill marvelled at the ‘sensitiveness of modern civilization, which thrills and quivers in every part of this vast and complex system at the slightest touch’. Since that time the world has become a much smaller place, with financial ripples in even a remote corner having an almost immediate effect on world markets. The intricate nature of the world’s financial markets has opened the door to modern warfare being conducted in the stock exchanges rather than on the battlefield. Animal products, seen as essential commodities by the most developed nations at least, are often central to the sporadic warfare that has pervaded the world since the guns of the last major conflicts of the 20th century fell silent.

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6: Trade in Live Farm Animals

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Live Farm Animals

6

6.1  Introduction

Trade in live farm animals spans a wide range of cultures and societies, from a local level to the big bilateral export trades that exist around the world. The local trade has a long history. Livestock have been used as dowry for thousands of years, and are still used in Africa and by primitive tribes in Asia (Anon., 2010). However, the live animal trade usually refers to live export and import, i.e. animals that are traded across national borders, but many livestock are also traded within a country, particularly if it is large, such as the USA, Australia or Brazil. Nowadays, with intensification of the livestock industries, the availability of fast transport and growing demand for animals and their products in many parts of the world, the live animal trade is rapidly increasing.

Demand for trade in live food animals is principally dependent on the size of the human population, their demand for animal products and the feasibility of them being traded alive, rather than as a processed product. The trade most obviously follows a migration of animals from the southern to the northern hemisphere, with regions such as Australia/New Zealand, southern Africa and South

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