Association of Zoos and Aquariums and U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Join Forces

Today, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) announced their joining of forces in a united effort to fight the global epidemic in wildlife trafficking. Effective immediately, Sara Walker former Executive Director or the USWTA, will join the AZA staff in Silver Spring, Maryland and the USWTA is now a program of the AZA.
“Wildlife trafficking is a global epidemic, and is driving some of the world’s most beloved animals to the brink of extinction,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are world leaders in saving animals from extinction, and this strategic alignment with travel, media, and consumer products business leaders, as well as conservation NGOs, will create and sustain powerful momentum.”
Beginning in 2015, the USWTA has assembled an impressive coalition of corporate and non-profit member organizations all working together to raise awareness about the devastating impact that wildlife trafficking has on wild animals and to stop the consumer demand for endangered species products. AZA is a founding member of the USWTA.
“In the past two years, USWTA has made significant progress in building public-private partnerships across a variety of sectors to tackle the poaching epidemic,” said David J. Hayes, Chair of USWTA.  “AZA will provide a powerful platform for the continued expansion of partnership opportunities that raise awareness about wildlife trafficking, reduce poaching, and directly benefit critical wildlife populations around the world.”
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