The Humane Society of the United States

Wildlife Trade

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The United States is one of the largest consumers of the world's wild animals. Taking animals from the wild can threaten the survival of some species. Even if the animals are born in captivity, the trade is dangerous and cruel.


Wild animals are traded illegally—to the tune of $10 billion or more globally each year, an amount second only to arms and drug smuggling—as well as legally. Animals are sold alive and also for their parts. This trade can devastate wild populations, and the methods used to capture, transport, and kill animals can cause tremendous suffering.

You can save wildlife. Encourage your policymakers to strengthen and enforce laws to reduce wildlife trade. And use the power of your purchasing choices: Don't buy wild.


Illegal Internet WildlifeTrafficking Exposed

Assisted by The HSUS, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission led a crackdown on the illegal Internet wildlife trade, resulting in 33 written arrests and 40 warnings.

Learn More »

News & Events

  • May 18, 2017

    Senate committee approves ban on shark fins

    The Humane Society Legislative Fund and The Humane Society of the United States applaud the passage of S.793, the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2017, by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this morning. S.793 would prohibit the import, export, sale and trade of shark fins. The HSUS and HSLF urge the Majority Leader to schedule the measure for Senate floor action soon.

  • November 29, 2016

    California court upholds ban on state ivory and rhino horn trade

    The Los Angeles Superior Court has upheld California’s ban on trade in ivory and rhino horn, rejecting claims that the ban was unconstitutional. The Ivory Education Institute – a group promoting ivory use – challenged the law in 2015.

  • October 11, 2016

    Fad Pets, Sad Pets: Find Dory on the big screen, not in your fish tank

    Don't buy Finding Dory lookalikes as pets. Protect fish, the ocean and coral reefs by leaving tropical fish like the royal blue tang swim in the ocean where they belong.

  • October 6, 2016

    Animal welfare on the ballot in November

    When voters go to the polls this November, they won’t only be making decisions about which elected officials will represent them.