Some animal products of rare or endangered species and species with diminishing populations are in high demand and give rise to extensive hunting and poaching, which further endangers their status.
Pelts and skins in demand for the fashion trade derive from the cheetah, ocelot, jaguar, snow leopard, clouded leopard, lynx, vicuÃ±a, tiger, and giant otter. Although legal limits have been imposed on the number of pelts or skins of certain species which may be exported from a country, these limits are exceeded due to a considerable illicit fur trade. Other products in demand include black or white rhino horn, crocodile hide, walrus tusks, sea turtle meat and by-products and, of course, elephant ivory. Much of the middle-men activity is done in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo, with Honolulu and Brussels being other transit points. Countries whose rare and embattled species are diminishing include India, Kenya, Thailand, and Ecuador, while many of the oceans' species, which belong to the world, are being pirated for private gain. Illegal trading in ivory, the skins of endangered species and small live wild animals and birds is a $1.5 billion business annually. Of 110 traditional Chinese medicine shops surveyed in seven cities in North America, nearly half offered the sale of one or more protected species medicines. Products lablled to contain tiger bone -- which is used primarily