Astrid Andersson, who has just received her PhD under the supervision of Dr Caroline Dingle, showed that legal wildlife trade is enormous - its scale is ten times that of illegal trade. Not only does the legal trade do enormous damage to biodiversity, but gaping legal loopholes also allow for illegal trade to be laundered as "legal".
To obtain her results, Andersson analysed global customs data that covered the period of ten years.
Here is a link to a report on Andersson's research published on HKU's news website. This report focuses on the sheer size of the legal wildlife trade and the variety of wildlife legally traded - live birds and live reptiles for pet trade, whale meat, live primates, animal skins, reptile meat, and many other categories.