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August 2, 2010

HSI Brings Wildlife Handling Workshop to Nicaragua

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Humane Society International — in conjunction with the Department of Interior of the United States; the Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales, Nicaragua's environmental department; and CITES Management Authority — will conduct a day-long workshop on the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and neotropical animal handling.

The workshop, which features HSI's newly developed animal handling curriculum, will be held at the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniera campus in Managua on Aug. 5. To maximize the impact of the course, 35 Nicaraguan customs inspectors, local NGOs and university representatives will participate.

"Our goal is to not only train law enforcement personnel to effectively identify and humanely handle confiscated wildlife, but also to institutionalize the training curriculum within local organizations so they have real ownership of the material and can conduct future trainings throughout the country," said Tracy O'Toole, director of wildlife development programs for HSI.

The Spanish language animal handling curriculum will enable border and police officials throughout Central America and the Dominican Republic to properly identify, handle and transport confiscated neotropical wildlife protected under CITES. The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be more than $10 billion annually, surpassed only by the illegal trade in drugs and arms, and often results in painful injury and death of a high percentage of the animals captured for sale.

This workshop is the first in a series of training sessions to be held in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to improve the ability of law enforcement officers and government officials to effectively implement CITES at a regional level in Central America and the Caribbean.

Facts:

  • Ever since it entered into force in 1975, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, has been the only international agreement that regulates international trade in wild species.
  • To date, 175 nations ("Parties") have signed and ratified the CITES treaty.
  • Nicaragua became a party to CITES in 1977. The country is home to 100 species of freshwater fish, 200 species of mammals, 600 species of amphibians and reptiles and 750 species of birds.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.

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