First Ever Fatwa Issued Against Wildlife Trafficking

In a slaughterhouse in Rantau Prapat, Sumatra, Indonesia, workmen slit open wild-caught blood pythons. (Photograph by Mark Leong)

Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body has issued a fatwa, or edict, against illegal wildlife trafficking.

This unprecedented step by the Indonesian Council of Ulama, in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, declares illegal hunting or illegal trading of endangered species to be haram (forbidden).

Read the full story on our daily news page.

Bryan Christy is an investigative journalist and author who has spent years focused on environmental crimes. A Fulbright Scholar, he attended Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University Graduate School, University of Michigan Law School, and the University of Tokyo Law School. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., including in the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Christy is the author of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers. In researching that book, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula, and ejaculated on by a Bengal tiger. His article, "The Kingpin", exposing wildlife trader Anson Wong, appeared in the January 2010 issue of National Geographic. Visit his website for updates about his work. Photo by John Heminway

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