In 2007, we followed photojournalist Patrick Brown into the vast, dangerous world of Asia’s wild animal market in Black Market. At the time some 30,000 primates, up to five million birds, and ten million reptile skins were a part of the third-largest smuggling operation in the world. Seven years later, illegal wildlife trading is still a global issue, raking in $19 billion a year from the trafficking of endangered animals.
This month David Cameron will host the highest level global summit to date on combating the illegal wildlife trade in London. Heads of state will discuss quelling wildlife poaching, highlighting the strong links between the illegal industry and international criminal syndicates, terrorism and threats to national security.
Few are familiar with just how high the stakes are as Patrick Brown. He has photographed the illegal trade of endangered animals in Asia for more than a decade, covering its dealers, stockpiles, trafficking routes and markets. The culmination of his work, Trading to Extinction, is fittingly timed with the issue taking the world stage.