Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, has pledged support for a “Wildlife Crime – The Fightback” campaign.

Launched at the House of Commons by International Fund for Animal Welfare, the drive aims to save species being pushed to the brink of extinction by organised criminal syndicates.

Mr Miller said he was shocked by IFAW’s revelations and urged constituents to join the battle against the illegal trade.

“The illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, the poaching of wild tigers for their parts, the smuggling of rare birds and reptiles for the pet trade and the use of endangered animals in traditional Asian medicines are decimating wild populations," he said.

"Equally worrying is that these atrocities are often carried out by criminal syndicates that also deal in illegal drugs and arms.

“Wildlife trafficking therefore has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world.

“It was shocking to hear about the scale and impact of illegal trade in endangered species.

“I fully support IFAW’s campaign to stamp out wildlife crime, and urge my constituents to lend their support too.”

2012 was one of the worst years ever for elephants and the illegal ivory trade, and IFAW says 2013 is off to an even worse start.

Almost five tonnes of ivory were seized in January 2013 alone in seizures in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Mombasa, Kenya.