Search
Close this search box.

Patrick Brown: Trading to Extinction

Patrick Brown is a Canadian politician who has served as the 51st and current mayor of Brampton since 2018. Entering politics when he won a seat on the Barrie City Council in 2000, Brown later joined the Conservative Party and became a member of Parliament in 2006.

Thailand –

From the pristine jungles of Cambodia to the great national parks of India and Nepal, Asian wildlife is being plundered on an unprecedented scale. Every year, it is estimated that up to 30,000 primates, 5 million birds, 10 million reptile skins and 500 million tropical fish are traded.

Patrick Brown has been photographing the illegal trade of endangered animals in Asia for more than a decade, covering its dealers, stockpiles, trafficking routes and markets. This is a massive contraband industry, where the poachers are often the ones taking the blame, however they are only but a small part of a complex and highly profitable illegal trading business.

According to ancient custom, animal parts are imbued with ‘magical’ properties. Some people believe, for example, that eating the flesh of a tiger will make them strong. Despite scientific studies proving such superstitions wrong, the trade in animals and animal parts continues, fuelled by desire, greed and corruption.

 

Trading-to-Extinction-by-Dewi-Lewis-Publishing-                                  ‘Trading to Extinction’ published Dewi Lewis Publishing 

 

Rhino horns have no medicinal purpose, but myths about their effect on health and potency have pushed their value to exceed the price of gold. Animal trade thrives on novelty and on the belief that exotic animals exude certain powers. More and more people are becoming aware of the myths, but sellers are also adapting. Porous rhino horns are now often soaked in Viagra before they reach the market.

The exact value of that market is impossible to figure out, but experts estimate that it is somewhere close to $10 billion annually. A poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in India gets $350. That same horn sells for $1,000 in a nearby market town. By the time it reaches Hong Kong, Beijing or the Middle East, the horn is worth $370,000. Tiger bones are worth up to $700 per kilo.

The illegal global wildlife trade has doubled since the 1990s, and the evidence is nothing short of disheartening: more than 100 million sharks are killed each year, elephants have evolved to have shorter tusks because of poaching, and there are more Bengalese tigers in Texas than in the bay of Bengal.

Trading to Extinction is a unique visual record through powerful black and white photographs by Patrick Brown, which is accompanied by a personal introduction by Ben Davies. The book takes the reader on a first hand journey into the seedy world of the illegal animal trade and its gruesome pursuit of profit, as well as describing international efforts to stop it.

 

Photography by Patrick Brown and the book introduction by Ben Davies

Related Posts

Simon Baker : ‘Europe’s No Longer The Home Of Photography’

England – Simon Baker of Tate Modern London is the institute’s first curator of photography and international art and is …

Kursat Bayhan : Away From Home

Turkey – I saw the work of Kürşat Bayhan while I was teaching a workshop in Bursa in September 2012. …

Mathieu Asselin: Monsanto – A Photographic Investigation

USA –  My photographic project investigates key milestones in Monsanto’s 100 years history by documenting communities whose lives were dramatically …

Fosi Vegue: XY XX

Spain – THIS STORY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT An inner courtyard faces a row of rooms where prostitutes take their clients. …

Daisuke Yokata: Site/Cloud

Japan – I see a photo. I took it. Although many decades have not passed since the shoot, I cannot …

Douglas Stockdale on Sarah Malakoff’s Second Nature

USA – Sarah Malakoff (b. 1972 Wellesley, MA and resides in Boston, MA) chose to photograph a subject that she …

Rachel Seed : Reinventing A Mother’s Legacy

U.S.A. – Rachel Seed is a Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker who divides her time between multimedia documentary projects and freelance photography …

Marilene Coolens Lisa De Boeck

Marilène Coolens & Lisa De Boeck: “The Umbilical Vein” – Mother Photographs Her Daughter For 13 Years

Belgium – For The Umbilical Vein, photography team Memymom, composed of mother Marilène Coolens and daughter Lisa De Boeck, unearth a collection …

Manik Katyal on Ernesto Bazan “ISLA”

Cuba –  With an eclectic body of enriching, honest and deeply committed work, one can only admire the talent that …