Law enforcement of the wildlife trafficking: a comparative strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis of the UK and Norway

Jennifer Maher, Ragnhild Sollund


The EU is a key location for illegal wildlife trade [IWT]: a point of transit, a market for consumers and, to a lesser degree, a source. Global and difficult to control, wildlife trafficking is increasingly identified as a serious, organized and transnational crime with far-reaching consequences for both humans and nonhumans. Anchored within a green criminology harm perspective, this article aims to further understanding of official responses to the IWT by evaluating a comparative case study on the trade in the UK and Norway, using a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats[SWOT] analysis. It is based on data from a multi-method qualitative case study (in the UK, Norway, Colombia and Brazil) conducted as part of the EFFACE project; through interviews with key stakeholders, observation, and document analysis, this study identified common and different features of the nature of, and responses to, IWT. While primarily concerned with evaluating responses, this article also makes recommendations for improvement. Findings suggest official responses are complex, diverse, and vary considerably in each location, including effectiveness. To cease as key destinations for IWT, the UK and Norway must acknowledge the serious, negative consequences and increasingly organized nature of IWT, strengthen political will, reform their responses (improve support, increase resources and the severity of punishments/penalties), and better integrate the role of NGOs in the enforcement process and in establishing alternative responses.


Illegal wildlife trade; wildlife trafficking; SWOT; Green Criminology; species justice; law enforcement

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