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October 26, 2010

Humane Society International Participates in Illegal Wildlife Trade Forum in Latin America

BOGOTA, Colombia — Humane Society International is joining efforts with the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL, and Colombia’s National Police to conduct a workshop on illegal wildlife trade. The workshop, titled “Training on Environmental Managerial and Investigation Techniques for the Prevention and Control of the Illegal Trade of Species of Wildlife,” will take place at the Club Militar in Bogota, Oct. 26 – 29.

More than 80 members of Colombia’s police force, along with participants from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, including local and international NGOs and university representatives, will be in attendance. HSI will present a newly-developed interactive animal handling CD that enables border and police officials to properly identify, handle and transport confiscated wildlife.

For decades, the trade in illegal wildlife has been an ongoing concern across the globe, plundering mostly cash-poor, wildlife-rich developing countries and causing untold damage to the populations of numerous species. Illegal trade in wildlife is particularly rampant in border areas, where wildlife is extracted from protected areas and then smuggled into other countries.

“In light of this reality, international cooperation and coordination as well as continuous training becomes an essential part of any initiative aimed to successfully curb this situation,” said Marta Prado, executive director of International Trade and Development for HSI. “Our main objective is to train law enforcement personnel to effectively identify and humanely handle confiscated wildlife, in order to ensure that these animals don’t have to endure any additional and unnecessary suffering.”

Facts:

  • INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 188 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime. INTERPOL became actively involved in fighting environmental crime in 1992 to assist its member countries in the effective enforcement of national and international environmental laws and treaties.
  • The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be worth 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.
  • HSI’s animal handling curriculum is the culmination of years of research and consultation with local partners across Latin America to provide regional law enforcement personnel with a modern tool to assist them in their efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade.    

 

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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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