Tag Archives: France

Illegal wildlife trade undermines security across nations

By PrairieDogPress

Mar 04, 2014

In the lead-up to Monday’s first-ever World Wildlife Day sanctioned by the United Nations, President Barack Obama laid out a three-pronged plan in mid-February to fight poaching, illegal trade of ivory and other animal parts; not only to stop needless slaughter of imperiled wildlife, but to stem corruption.

Excerpt from Obama’s statement from the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking letter said:

“Like other forms of illicit trade, wildlife trafficking undermines security across nations. Well-armed, well-equipped, and well-organized networks of criminals and corrupt officials exploit porous borders and weak institutions to profit from trading in poached wildlife. Record high demand for wildlife products, coupled with inadequate preventative measures and weak institutions has resulted in an explosion of illicit trade in wildlife in recent years.”

In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and Attorney General Eric Holder, worked together and penned an op-ed published in National Geographic March 3, to coincide with the first World Wildlife Day.

They warned of threats by organized criminal rings that show no mercy toward animal or human life, since park rangers have been murdered by the dozens trying to protect majestic wildlife, like rhinos and  elephants, from being killed and butchered.

A vast underground network of sophisticated “nefarious criminal elements” continues to grow their million-dollar business, which threatens national economies, the integrity of park, port and court officials, while whole communities fear for their lives.

Furthermore, iconic wildlife—particularly elephants, being killed at an estimated rate of sometimes 95 per day—face extinction in the evolutionary blink of an eye.

Time is urgent, wrote Kerry, Jewell and Holder:

“We must act now. Last month, the President announced his National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. Our three co-chairing agencies—the Departments of State, Justice, and Interior—are leading the President’s whole-of-government fight against wildlife trafficking by pursuing a three-pronged strategy: strengthening domestic and global enforcement; reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad; and strengthening partnerships internationally and domestically with local communities, NGOs, private industry, and others to combat wildlife poaching and illegal trade.”

Meanwhile, the US, Hong Kong, Kenya, Gabon, Chad, France and China are among nations that have embarked on an ivory-destruction campaign that has resulted in tons of illegal ivory being ground to dust, burned or otherwise eliminated from the possibility of theft.

In related news, the US has the only animal forensic lab in the world located in Ashland, Ore., which is capable of using high-tech crime scene investigation methods to track down wildlife killers.

The US Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory utilizes a crack team of scientists who use investigative measures similar to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including DNA-gathering and fingerprint recovery.

“In a wildlife crime laboratory your evidence is often a carcass,” said Ken Goddard, the lab‘s director in a previous National Geographic interview. “We get pieces and parts—hides, furs, shoes, purses, ivory carvings and a lot of caviar. When you start getting into the small pieces; strips of leather for watch band, chunks of meat, carvings of ivory, you’ve lost all those species-defining characteristics that made that evidence obviously from an elephant or a bear, for example.”

The lab recently destroyed its cache of ivory tusks held in evidence.

The US and China are huge markets for ivory products, but there are seemingly limitless world marketplaces imbued with things made of animal fur, skin, feathers and entrails that could be from endangered wildlife.

So, everyone is encouraged to do their part and refrain from buying ivory jewelry or trinkets, tiger rugs, shark fin soup, medicinal products made from bear bile or anything else suspicious.

Only mankind can help stop this disgrace of humanity.

French customs announce major ivory haul

Expatica France
December 16, 2013

French customs said Monday they found 82 kilogrammes (180 pounds) of elephant tusks in the boot of a car as part of a routine inspection, one of the biggest ivory seizures in a decade.

Customs officials discovered two whole elephant tusks and several chunks of tusks worth around 80,000 euros ($110,000) in the car near the western city of Poitiers on December 10, they said in a statement.

They added it was “one of the biggest seizures of ivory by French customs over the past ten years.”

There are an estimated 500,000 elephants in Africa, where poaching is prevalent and kills around 22,000 to 25,000 animals every year, meaning that they are being eliminated faster than they can reproduce.

As a result, ivory trade is strictly monitored and vendors can only sell it if they have certificates proving that they obtained it in a legal manner, for example by taking tusks off elephants that were already dead.

But the French customs said the person who was driving the car did not have a valid certificate for the two whole tusks and had no documents for the other chunks of ivory.

France earlier this month announced it would increase fines for illegal trading in ivory and endangered animal species, as part of a major Africa summit that took place in Paris.

French Customs Seize Ivory, Elephant Feet and Tail in Paris

This News item is shared courtesy of Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants News Researcher.

Seized ivory tusks, elephant parts from Cameroon at Paris airport

IC Publications
March 4, 2010

French customs officers at a Paris airport seized elephants’ feet, two ivory tusks and a tail from packages sent from Cameroon, the customs office said Thursday.

The two tusks weighing 21.5 kilos (41.4 pounds) each, two feet and tail were identified as being from an African elephant, which has been identified as under threat of extinction.

The elephant parts from trophy hunting were sent by freight from Cameroon to a French national via Charles de Gaulle airport, outside Paris.

“Trade in this type of product is strictly regulated and requires a certificate authorised by CITES,” the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, said the customs agency.

Article at the following link: http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php area=africa&item=100304103021.yo6rbo4v.php