Fighting Illegal Animal Trade with Strategic Use of Security Seals

Fighting Illegal Animal Trade with Strategic Use of Security Seals

Posted by Steve Diebold

Security seals play an integral role in keeping the global economy operating securely and with integrity. That means not only playing an active role in securing legitimate trade shipments but aiding in bringing down illegal trade activity too.

One of the areas where security seals are really making an impact is in illegal animal trade. The global market in illegally traded animals and their parts, including skins, is estimated at $119 billion annually, with almost 400 million specimens of all types being sold illegally each year. It is considered the second large black market after drugs, and it is even believed to be larger than the trade in illegal arms.

Security seals play a role in bringing down this problem, both on land and by sea. Several organizations use some type of security or tamper evident seal as a tag to register and identify legally traded items, such as fish and wildlife agencies in the United States and other countries, various United Nations agencies, CITES affiliated organizations, and the WWF.

American Casting & Manufacturing has been supplying security seals as a form of secure identification tagging to many of these groups for decades. The most commonly used seals in this application are plastic fixed length tags like our model HS75 and 4001, or pull-up plastic seals like our AP-50 or 9001. However, that’s not the only option -- AC&M also supplies a variety of other security seals that can be used for the same efforts.

For example, tamper evident seals are used to attach non-removable serial numbers and species identification tags on various legally sold animal or fish parts. As a result, illegally traded items are more easily spotted and identified.

Our tamper evident seals are often used to identify skins of crocodiles, snakes, alligators, or even protected cat species. Tamper evident seals are also attached to valuable and controlled fish like yellowfin and bluefin tuna, certain shark species, and many more. In many cases, our seals are used on lesser-known species -- for example, yak hides which are often illegally taken and sold in Central Asia.

It’s important to shed light on the various ways security seals can help improve the global trade ecosystem by sharing how our seals can help in controlling illegal animal trade and transport. If you’re interested in learning more, contact AC&M to speak with a security seals expert today.