Asia's Illegal Animal Trade

2013, Crime  -   27 Comments
Ratings: 7.43/10 from 21 users.

Day by day, hour by hour, our planet's rarest creatures are being hunted, trapped and slaughtered to feed a global black market in wildlife products.

For years, Patrick Brown has traveled across Asia to document the devastating impact of wildlife trafficking. Now he'd like to bring his work to a worldwide audience, by producing a campaigning photographic book called "Trading to Extinction."

It is a shocking tale of cruelty, crime and human greed. As with drug trafficking, money fuels the animal trade. Its tentacles wrap around the world, from the remote forests of Asia to the trafficking hubs of Beijing, Bangkok, London, Tokyo and New York.

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.

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27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. May

    well in other ways, Chinese are bad and they hate having animals being in the same world as us, well they don't deserve being in the same world as us, don't you people think that the Asia are taking this way to far because they don't have the right doing this....i am not being rude...sorry if i am

  2. Ryan

    Never got the hypocrisy on this issue where people will argue how disgusted they are and then go to the fridge and stick a burger on for their dinner. You can go on about humane killing. But it doesn't exist. Same pain, same death for the animal. Just a different animal in a different country that doesn't fit in to what you've been brainwashed into.

  3. dude in Australia

    This is more about him and his photography not wildlife. In the restaurants you see crocs being served and his going on about it but wait a minute I remember being in Coles in Victoria (Australia) the other week and you can buy croc and kangaroo meat... but its so wrong that the Chinese serve croc! I would of liked to see more evidence of tiger or bear (even rinho's) being exploited in this doco it would of pushed across the message they were trying to make alot better but its a shame the doco was more about him then the real issue.

  4. Jabranpin

    Is there anything the Asians will not do? o_O

    1. Iryna Solotska

      you do realize that asia isn't solely responsible right? The west's consumerist culture is also to blame for illegal animal trade. People wear fur and leather (some just enjoy possessing rare and exquisit things)- do you think that's all legal? don't minimize the problem to illegal animal trade in asia... it's a global issue. and no- I am not asian.

  5. His Forever

    Beyond depressing. Five months in ****** and the only whildlife I saw were rats and a few birds--well, I mean the ones not in cages ready to be eaten. Accidentally ate crockodile--hope it wasn't a native one as there's only a few hundred left. Tortoise too. Last meal was dog soup before flying out for vacation. Ya just gotta stop asking "What is this?" to have any piece of mind, but actually I don't mind puppy soup that much--not an endangered animal.

    1. AntiTheist666

      Hi Charles

      Thanks for sharing but it really is beyond depressing!!! ;-)

      For god’s sake come on man!!!!!!

      5 months and the only wildlife you saw were rats and a few birds???

      Did you have your eyes open??? You know you saw more than that!!!!!

      Did you look? Was your perspective perhaps coloured by some negative valuations? I don’t know where ****** is but surely there was more than that? I loved your tale of the accidental crocodile eating, was it nice? What about puppy soup? I have tried bird’s nest and shark fin soup and was extremely disappointed with them both. I only did this from a research point of view as I am opposed to cruelty and the endangerment of all animals which of course includes us.

      Best regards to you and your family.

      The Crucified One

  6. AntiTheist666

    A really god doc that was a bit hard to watch. The white tiger in the restaurant made me feel so sad I almost wept. Good job by Patrick Brown and Vice.

  7. lex lexich

    chinese people are total idio.s, 4000 years of 'civilization' and they are still as stupid as they could be... japanese are right behind them... sadly, there are ppl everywhere who think that rhino's horn would give them a boner, and believe it or not, there are still people that think humans are more intelligent than animals... unbelievable

    1. AntiTheist666

      @lex lexitch

      Your comment stinks, I mean Pheweeeeeeee!!!!

    2. lex lexich

      sure it does! now try and understand it

    3. AntiTheist666

      @lex lexich

      I’ve tried to understand your racist remark but I’ve failed. But then again it might be because I’m a Chinese/Japanese idio*! Please enlighten me as to why you feel the need to insult two fine nations?

    4. neferibi

      I will try to translate lex lexich's comment it for you:

      It's not the rhino horn which gives male humans a boner. The truth is, that you need the sternum of a Chinese/Japanese (or whatever nationality you are) person. Dry it, grind it, mix it with fresh ginger. Male humans should eat about 2 kg of it before making love and that will do the trick.

      And humans are the most stupid beings on the planet, simply because they don't talk Feline, Canine, Equidae, etc.
      I could easily proof that you are not a human being because I am not able to communicate with you. I just have to talk German. You won't understand a word and that's proof enough for science that you are lacking intelligence.
      This equals in the result that you are not human because all your actions are related to instinct.

      I hope you understand it now.

      And he was not insulting two fine nations. He mentioned them because they are among the worst nations regarding wildlife protection - especially regarding some specific ingredients of "traditional" medicine (rhino horn is just an example).
      Lex lexich is most likely above such ordinary things like insulting nations. Simply because he realizes that speciesism is as worse as racism - we all are earthlings.
      Only humans are stupid enough to bite the hand that feeds them - just for profit.

    5. AntiTheist666


      Thanks for your reply but I’m sorry to say I still don’t understand why making racist remarks is justified? If you don’t think lex’s comments were insulting to Chinese and Japanese people then perhaps we are talking two different languages. I’m Welsh by the way and fluent in feline, just ask my cat. We prefer our ground sternum served with a little backbone and brains.

      The Crucified One

    6. 123

      wtf. Why always Chinese bad! other countries also have same problem! open your eyes, plz!

  8. pjle

    This pisses me off.What the hell is wrong with these cold hearted shitsacks.They try to pretend they are invincable buy robbing other countries of the wildlife that is going downhill.For what? Oh It's for their penis right.Dispicable and wrong.The very thought that tigers,elephants rhinos,are being murdered for some rich scumbag who lives in some 5ooo square home and hang the tigers skin on their wall to show their other ignorant bastards.This is sick to watch the arrogance and the Chinese government does nothing.Enraged doesn't even come close to how i feel.It would be great if this shithole cesspool of a rock would be struck bye a meteor and right in China.Man is not the best creation but the shittiest garbage aholes we are and those who think that having a tiger murdered for their body is repulsive and i hope whoever profits or uses any animal believing it has medicine gives them a disease.I hate man and his greed.The sooner we are eliminated the better chance these species may have a chance to make a comeback.It took millions of years for all species and it takes just over one hundred years of humans to deplete.Sick just sick.Oh finally.Mr.little penis man I hope you choke on the bone.

  9. dehadista

    is this documentary is about the photographer guy??? He is talking a lot about himself. I'm not interested about him, about the topic.

    1. slurricane mane

      he did the switcheroo

  10. oQ

    I thought this dictionary little explanation was interesting:

    "color refers to the wavelength composition of light, shade is a gradation of color referring to its degree of darkness, tint is a gradation referring to its degree of lightness, and hue indicates a modification of a basic color, hew means to make or shape as with an axe, while a hue is a particular gradation of color, a shade or tint, hue is the quality of a color that makes it possible to call it bluish green, etc. (the color of a color); shade is a color variation having to do with the value of a hue (lightness or darkness), and tint is a pale variation of a color, a color's value is its brightness, its chroma is its strength, and its hue is its position in the spectrum"

    Are dreams in colours? Or do we put colours on them as we wake up?

    1. Kateye70

      Hmm. I dream in color, at least the ones I remember. Although sometimes it's very dark and hard to see them (dreaming of night). Sometimes I dream whole stories, and a few times, I've had 'serial dreams,' continuing a previous dream later--sometimes weeks or even years later. But I always remember them in color.

      Your definition brought back my second year of art school, when my color and design class was spent making gray scales and color wheels ad infinitum. Boring work, but it paid off later.

    2. Trevis Robotie

      you've just colored my dreams-lol

  11. Carl Hendershot

    I dream in color not black and white. Decent film.

    1. oQ

      Black and white can be very interesting with all the shades of gray, contrast and all, but i think he uses B&W because it's a cheaper medium to work with and the darkroom is much easier to set up and control...even portable at times if needed.
      Plus now with the fading of colour labs everywhere, because of digital photography, the ones that have remained opened for professionals are very expensive and not abundant (although he seem to live in comfort in Bangkok).
      If he likes B&W so much, why wasn't the cinematography in B&W...that would have made a statement.
      I agree with tomregit, the film comes out as being more about the guy than about the issue.
      Still, if you're into photography and animal rights, it's an alright doc.

    2. Carl Hendershot

      Great comment.

    3. Suzy Harrison

      He may have started in B&W years ago because it was cheaper. But I think that he really loves the look and feel of B&W. While not a photographer I am a person that loves working with my hands so I completely understand why he loves the darkroom and the ability to control what he is creating. There is also the fact that when looking at color our eyes are drawn more to the colors that the subject, that becomes secondary. With B&W there is no secondary the subject is the point of the photo, not the colors in the photo. I greatly admire this man for staying with film, the mystery and control in the darkroom. Digital is all about instant gratification something human seem to want more than anything else in the world.

    4. oQ

      I worked as a photographer for many of my years. Started with B&W as a kid and went back to it many times. Now a days if a photographer wants to use negatives and silver paper, he will more easily and for a lot cheaper if he gets his hands in the chemical process, work with B&W.
      Wanting portability is an other reason.

      There is something else to using a darkroom, it allows one to have an enormous control over the quality of image and the artistic presentation of it.

  12. tomregit

    Mildly interesting, but it's more about the photographer than animal trade.