Trading in animals, alive or stuffed, has long been a lucrative proposition for smugglers, unconcerned about the extinction of various species. The current crackdown is aimed at curbing these evil perpetrators of cruelty and violence against mute animals.
A case in point is the recent seizure of a large number of mounted animal skins that were allegedly smuggled into the country by a trader, through the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The authorities swooped down to confiscate the animal consignment invoking the provision of the Cities Agreement.
Says Abdul Nasir Al Shamsi, Director of the Bureau of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, this is a coordinated campaign by the customs department, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Environment Authority in the UAE, to implement the Cities Agreement to curb trading in endangered species carried on without the requisite documents for trading in flora and fauna products.
"We have confiscated the taxidermied animals which included rare species of birds, six wolves, goats, reptiles and other animals, " he said.
He said that through campaigns many animals and animal products including monkeys and sturgeon fish which yield caviar, have been confiscated. Some of the fish were estimated to carry a price tag of Dh35,000.
Meanwhile , the Abu Dhabi Federal Environment Authority , the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Interior, are intensifying campaigns to monitor trading in endangered species . As a follow-up, traders and consumers, have been instructed to adhere to the procedures in place.
The campaigns, have been well received by large consumer shops, retail and wholesale outlets such as the Hilton Hotel, Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society and Carrefour which have expessed their commitment to cooperate with the authorities to conform to the norms of legal trading and eschew unauthorised dealing in endangered species of flora and fauna .
Also, the people, thanks to awareness campaigns, have contributed their mite in fighting the menace of trade in endangered species, he added.