Juliana Machado Ferreira: The fight to end rare-animal trafficking in Brazil

Juliana Machado Ferreira: The fight to end rare-animal trafficking in Brazil (February 2010)

* Summary

Illegal wildlife trade is a very hot potato in Brazil, since almost 38 million animals are being taken from their natures every year and the market’s economic scale is (when considering traffickers’ profits only) almost two billion dollars. Therefore, the state involves in the issue by letting polices intercept cargos with live animals or seize the animals directly from the people’s houses. As a result, people like Ms. Ferreira end up with thousands of seized animals. However, this is not the end of the sad story. Where the seized animals are sent, facilities conditions are too bad for the animals to live.

What Ms. Ferreira thinks as an optimal solution is to rehabilitate the animals. That way they are cared for, and trained to return to the natures they once lived in. Nevertheless, what Brazil Ornithological Society suggests is different from her. It claims that birds seized from non-threatened species should be euthanized. However, Ms Ferreira believes there still exists a better alternative both for the seized animal themselves, and for the ecosystems, which is to responsibly rehabilitate the animals when they are concerned relevant through checking criteria they have built! That way, people can return genes for animal populations and return potential seed dispersers, predators, preys, etc! Also at the last, she encourages listeners to do whatever they can to let others know about the issue and consider her opinion as a way to save poor animals dying from unfamiliar environment they are living in now.

* Opinion

I remember when I was in Rio de Janeiro’s beach, I saw animals in cages and cargos of hundreds of the cages in them. At that time I could not realize that it was an animal market, nor the fact that the animals were taken from their homes by illegal cruel traffickers. Therefore, what I think is the most important way to solve the problem is to let as many people as possible to know about the issue. Because I knew nothing about the situation going on in Brazil and traffickers problem, I just thought the animals were so lovely and wished to have one too, not realizing how terrible thought that was.

Also about the Ferreira’s argument, I can say that I totally agree with her. If we follow the Brazil Ornithological Society’s suggestion, according to Ferreira we would have to kill 26,267 birds, only in the state of São Paulo, only in 2006. Can this make sense? When we can save lots of them by carefully concerning conditions so they can return to their home safely? I know that as BOS says maybe NGOs and every other people claiming responsible release don’t have enough knowledge about the species in nature and too many resources are spent for their rehabilitation. However, those seized animals are victims of humankind, who was suddenly taken from their beloved families and home for traffickers’ profit. Therefore it is people who are responsible for such brutality, so we have to figure out what’s the most safe and best way for the animals to survive. I mean, there could be many measures. About the resources and budget problem, some effect might be achieved by fines from traffickers when police capture the market or sites. Or why not increase penalties from traffickers when all this problem is aroused from them?

* Related Link

Since Ms. Ferreira doesn’t explain about animals rehabilitation thoroughly during the TED talk, I tried to searched by internet surfing and here’s a link of an explanation about wildlife rehabilitation. It is a site of PAWS, which is an organization where people who love animals and feel necessary to protect them. According to the site, it says

Wildlife rehabilitation is a profession involving the treatment and care of sick, injured or orphaned wild animals with the goal of releasing healed animals back to their natural habitats in the wild. To be released, animals must be able to function in their natural habitats as normal members of their species.

However after I got this definition and what process animals go through during the rehabilitation, I got a little bit worried about animals. Even though I still agree with Ms. Ferreira’s argument that trafficked animals should be sent to rehabilitation centers instead of being ehtuanized, I became curious about rehabilitated animals because rehabilitation means to take care of and cure the animals. I mean, when the ultimate purpose of wildlife rehabilitation is to return the animals safely to their natural habitat, what if animals become so domestic and used to human’s care that they cannot adapt when they get back?

Therefore, to solve the doupt and concern, I searched about rehabilitation of wild animals mainly about human’s care and adaptation of animals. As a result, I found this site which answered to my doubt. It says,

Wildlife rehabilitation is not an attempt to turn wild animals into pets. Patients are held in captivity only until able to live independently in the wild. Fear of humans is a necessary survival trait for wild animals and every effort is made to minimize human contact and prevent the taming of rehabilitation patients. Often wildlife rehabilitation is an elaborate and time-consuming process.

I really thank to this site for relieving me by answering my question so perfectly. According to the site, people trying to rehabilitate the wildlife animals already know about the concern so they always try to minimize human contact so they cannot get familiar with human’s care.

As I always have interests in animals and any issue where animals safety and rights are related, I hope others too have at least a little bit of interest about them because they are living with us now and partners who help each other. Like Ferreira recommended, I will always talk about animals’ rights and contemplate about issues. Also I welcome you to join. 🙂

* Vocab and Expression

In Brazil, they are usually first sent to governmental triage facilities, in which most of the cases, the conditions are as bad as with the traffickers.

Trafficker (noun) : A trafficker in particular goods, especially drugs, is a person who illegally buys or sells these goods

Korean Equivalent : 불법 매매꾼

Synonyms : banker, vendor, trader

Antonym : customer

Personal Sentence :  To be a wise customer, we should carefully go over if the seller is an illegal trafficker or not.

It is estimated that all kinds of illegal wildlife trade in Brazil withdraw from nature almost 38 million animals every year, a business worth almost two billion dollars.

Withdraw (verb) : If you withdraw something from a place, you remove it or take it away.

Korean Equivalent : 빼내다

Synonyms : depart, pull back, pull out

Antonyms : keep, persevere, stay

Personal Sentence : The only proper situation people can withdraw animals from their natural home but for reason of human’s necessary needs is when we judge there are dangers in their home.



  1. Peter Daley · 3월 29, 2015

    I know you’re still working on this, but so far you’ve done a great job.

    Liked by 1명

  2. hongyena · 4월 5, 2015

    It is such an important issue. There should be more people in the world who are interested in animla protection like Ms. Ferreira 🙂

    Liked by 1명

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