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Latest news from TRAFFIC


Malaysian judiciary brush up on wildlife crime and punishment

Marine turtles are targetted by poachers in Malaysian waters Click photo to enlarge © WWF-Canon / Roger LeGUEN   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 3 March 2009—The ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) and the Federal Courts of Malaysia have organized a national judiciary workshop on wildlife crime and prosecution being held in Kuala Lumpur on March 3 and 4, 2009.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and supported by the Federal Courts of Malaysia.

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Sweden stamps out illegal caviar

Better awareness and enforcement of regulations has led to a significant decline in illegal caviar trade in Sweden © Crawford Allen / TRAFFIC Cambridge, UK, 3 March 2009—Enforcement action against illegal caviar traders in Sweden is paying dividends, with just two tins of illicit caviar discovered by County regulators between 2006 and 2008, and the conviction in December 2008 of the two retailers for illegally selling caviar. They were fined a total of SEK22,200 (USD2,500).

The clampdown on illegal caviar in Sweden began in 2005, mainly in Uppsala and Stockholm. In November, 21 tins of osetra, sevruga and beluga caviar were confiscated in Uppsala. In court, it was revealed the caviar had come from Estonia via Finland and was half the normal price and lacked appropriate documentation.

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TRAFFIC Canada and Environment Canada WED

Albin Tremblay, Chief Enforcement Officer Enforcement Branch, Environment Canada and Ernie Cooper, , Canadian National Representative, for TRAFFIC North America sign an MoU between their respective organizations Click photo to enlarge © Environment CanadaVancouver, Canada, 27 February 2009—TRAFFIC Canada and Environment Canada’s Wildlife Enforcement Directorate (WED) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on co-operation between the two organizations on furthering the implementation and enforcement of wildlife trade regulations in Canada.

It is the first such agreement between the WED and a non-governmental organization (NGO) and the signing was witnessed by delegates to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) e-commerce meeting that included representatives from CITES Parties, the CITES secretariat, INTERPOL, World Customs Organization, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

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Internet wildlife trading comes under the spotlight

An internet auction site advertising Tiger bone wine Click photo to enlarge   Vancouver, Canada, 24 February 2009—Parties to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Wild Species of Fauna and Flora, meet today to discuss the growing use of the internet for trading wildlife.

In 2004, TRAFFIC first drew attention to the use of internet auction sites for trading ivory in the United States through its seminal report Tackling the ivories: The status of the US trade in elephant and hippo ivory (PDF, 1.1 MB)

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Box turtles knocked out by excessive trade

Being driven to extinction in Indonesia by unregulated trade: the Southeast Asia Box Turtle Click photo to enlarge
© Chris R Shepherd / TRAFFIC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 23 February 2009—Unregulated trade—at 10 to 100 times legal levels—has caused Southeast Asian Box Turtles almost to vanish from parts of Indonesia, where once they were common, according to a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The turtles are used for meat and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, with major markets in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia, mostly supplied from Indonesia. Animals are also exported as pets, mainly to the US, Europe and Japan.

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Canadian firm convicted of trading in Tiger parts

Medicines containing Tiger derivatives are banned Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC Cambridge, UK, 19 February 2009—A traditional Asian medicine firm based in Canada has been convicted of possessing and attempting to sell medicines containing parts from Tigers and other protected species.

Wing Quon Enterprises Ltd. pleaded guilty on 17 February in a Richmond Provincial Court to possession for the purpose of dealing in Tiger parts and was fined CAN45,000 (USD36,000).

CAN40,000 (USD32,000) of this was awarded by the court to TRAFFIC, to help further its efforts to ensure that wildlife trade is not detrimental to the conservation of nature.

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Rotterdam police score musical wood

Brazilian Rosewood sheets seized by police in The Netherlands following raids on two companies © TRAFFIC   Cambridge, UK, 19 February 2009—Acting on information provided by TRAFFIC, Dutch Police seized 249 veneer sheets of Brazilian Rosewood from two companies based in Rotterdam and ‘s-Gravendeel, The Netherlands, in January 2009.

Brazilian Rosewood Dalbergia nigra is used for making musical instruments and furniture, but is threatened by habitat loss. It is endemic to Brazil and is classified as Vulnerable by IUCN. The timber was listed in Appendix I of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1992, which prohibits its international trade.

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Elephants under threat as illegal ivory price soars in Viet Nam

Ivory on sale in Viet Nam is commonly mixed in with pig teeth and carved bone, perhaps in an attempt to dupe government inspectors Click photo to enlarge © Daniel Stiles   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 16 February 2009—Indochina’s few surviving elephants are under increasing threat from booming illegal ivory prices in Viet Nam, according to a new market analysis released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

An assessment of the illegal ivory trade in Viet Nam said Vietnamese illegal ivory prices could be the highest in the world, with reports of tusks selling for up to USD1500/kg and small, cut pieces selling for up to USD1863/kg.

Most of the raw ivory was said to originate from the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic, with small amounts from Viet Nam and Cambodia.

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Info TRAFFIC focuses on Central Africa

en Français

Cambridge, UK--TRAFFIC’s new programme in Central Africa features in the latest issue of info TRAFFIC. The recently opened TRAFFIC office in Cameroon is focusing on the trade in wild meat, on good timber trade governance, and on closing down illegal domestic ivory markets and ivory smuggling routes in the Central African region.

Highlights of Issue 9 are articles introducing the key priorities and objectives of TRAFFIC in Central Africa and the past/current work of this new subregional office. Attention is drawn to the strong support of WWF and IUCN in the subregion, along with other partners and/or institutional organizations such as the Central African Forest Commission – COMIFAC.

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