Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Valerie Karno


Anyone who is concerned about animals is inevitably outraged and frustrated by the atrocities committed in the international community by poachers and those who deal in the illegal trade of primates. This Note focuses on the widespread trade in endangered chimpanzees and gorillas, primates who are humans' closest living relatives on the planet. This Note gives explicit examples of the worldwide abuses committed by a host of First and Third World countries, exploring the systems by which Third World poachers export animals to First World agents under a guise of legitimacy. The Note then considers the governing international wildlife law, the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Note examines the CITES language in depth and explores the most recent applications and scholarly criticisms of the law. The Note concludes with recommendations for how to better protect these endangered primates through application of an augmented and reworked form of CITES.