CITES Secretary-General Visits EARS Partner
November 40, 2018
CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon, along with Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Martijn van Dam, recently made an official visit to EARS Partner AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection in the Netherlands. The visit was in recognition of the need to improve guidance to parties of CITES regarding confiscated live animals in need of housing.
While visiting the rescue centre at AAP Mr Scanlon explained the increasingly important role rescue centres have to play in fighting illegal wildlife trade: “Enhanced enforcement efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade is seeing an increasing number of seizures, including of live animals. The rescue capacity to receive these animals is in turn put under strain. AAP provides a good example of a rescue centre supporting this enhanced enforcement effort. For example, enforcers in Portugal and Spain could confiscate primates as part of the recent coordinated anti-wildlife trafficking effort known as Operation Thunderbird, led by INTERPOL, knowing there was a secure location to hold them. It is instructive to see how the system is organized in The Netherlands and useful lessons can be learned that may assist other countries that are Parties to CITES.”
The visit comes at a time where guidance to Parties on how to manage confiscated wildlife is being discussed within CITES. As these discussions take place EARS believes that there is huge potential for improving the way governments and rescue centres work together and in how governments decide which facilities to send confiscated animals to. The need for improved financial support for rescue centres – both in transporting confiscated animals and for the long-term care – also needs to be made a higher priority.
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