Shut Down Online Stores Profiting from the Sale of Endangered Species

Target: Sultan Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice, United Arab Emirates,

Goal: Investigate and shut down websites which sell endangered animals.

Lions, tigers, and numerous endangered animals can be purchased online in Dubai. The Sharjah Bird and Warsan Animal market has historically been a hotbed for illegal animal smuggling. However, since a recent government crackdown, the criminal activity has moved to the web. At the Warsan market, a variety of animal dealers sell domestic animals legally at their brick and mortar locations, but their websites can also connect customers to a variety of exotic animals.

Information about Instagram or Facebook groups which connect consumers to illegal animals are often posted to the doors of otherwise legal Warsan locations. For only 4,000 dirham (about $1,000 USD), a customer can buy a baby baboon and, for ten times that amount, cheetahs and tigers are also available. Animal conservation groups claim many of the animals are sold for their expensive pelts. In essence, the animals are being sold for slaughter. Dr. Annette Idler, director of studies at the Changing Character of War Centre at the University of Oxford, claims that money from illegal animal sales is often funneled into human trafficking or terrorist activity. If these claims are true, than these businesses traffic in both animal and human suffering.

Please sign this petition to demand Dubai officials investigate and shut down the Warsan pet market’s illegal online animal sales.


Dear Minister Al Badi,

Losing ground in the The Sharjah Bird and Warsan Animal market, exotic animal traffickers have moved online to sell endangered animals. Although the brick and mortar shops in the Warsan animal market have large signs proclaiming that they do not sell exotic animals, reporters claim Facebook and Instagram pages for illegal animals are explicitly advertised on their doors and windows.

Through these heavily advertised websites, consumers can find tigers, slow lorises, and dozens of other exotic and endangered animals. Experts claim many of the animals are purchased in order to be slaughtered for their highly valuable pelts. The industry is apparently very lucrative, as prices can range from 4,000 dirham for a baby baboon to over 40,000 dirham for a lion or cheetah. According to Dr. Annette Idler, director of studies at the Changing Character of War Centre at the University of Oxford, this money is often funneled directly to criminals involved in human trafficking or terrorism. You cannot allow the Dubai based websites to exploit human and animal suffering. I demand that you investigate and shut down the Warsan market’s illegal online animal sellers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lionel Mauritson

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