No 294 Wildlife Trade News 14th December 2014

Another daily dose of bad news about poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes

in the spotlight today ……………………

Baby elephants are being abducted from Zimbabwe’s National Park, smuggled to Chinese zoos

No 294 Wildlife Trade News 14th December 2014

Why court cleared Qatar in wildlife case. TANZANIA: EXTRACT The document seen by The Guardian on Sunday states clearly the flight that is claimed to have ferried the wild animals had diplomatic status and followed all the required formalities before flying to Tanzania and its departure back to base. (NA COMMENT: So. CITES officials in both countries did not raise any concerns over this VERY large shipment PRIOR to it happening? Hmmnn.

Pakistan risks losing GSP-Plus status by issuing falcon export permits. (A comment: Where does CITES stand/sleep on this illegal trade?)

How falcons helped shape relations between the UAE and Pakistan

PAKISTAN: Smuggling of black-spotted turtles: SHC seeks report

PAKISTAN: Caging cruelty or cruelly caging?: City’s zoo comes with more questions than answers


East Asia Summit adopts Declaration on Combating Wildlife Trafficking

Yes. Yet another photo to prove they attended, talked,

and most likely forgot what was agreed before they returned home. Read this and wonder how these bureaucrats can make the claims of success they do – and endorsed, of course, by the CITES Secretariat. If ASEAN-WEN was effective, how come the illegal wildlife trade in Asia is out of control? Can you recall a single ASEAN-WEN achievement? Isn’t this another back-slapping ‘didn’t we do well’ farce? Never forget: When it comes to CITES and its leadership the biggest mistake you can make is to judge either by its intentions, not its results.

VIETNAM: The grim realities on the ground (NA comment: This should worry you, given the Chairman of ASEAN-WEN is from Vietnam. Do you think he is walking his talk, or not?)

While working on a documentary on the rhino horn trade we came across a village outside Hanoi which we visited on several occasions filming the cutting up of rhino horns and the sale of a wide range of related products. We also filmed an ivory workshop with three grinding machines being operated. We were told that there were a range of such set ups operating in the village.

We provided very detailed evidence to Interpol/CITES/Traffic and the South African Hawks – based on the SA authorities having signed a range of MOUs with Vietnam dealing on curtailing the trade.

We then heard through an informant that a local Interpol team visited the shop and walked away with a bribe of around U$ 250 000. Nothing was confiscated nobody was arrested.

photo. Karl Ammann

How can this trade in ivory and rhino horn be openly on display and for sale in Vietnam

when the Chairman of ASEAN’s Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) is also Chief of the CITES Management Authority of Vietnam? Selective blindness by CITES, again?

We then provided the same information to a major foreign NGO with a base in Vietnam which indicated that they would try to go via trusted officials within the Environmental Police. Again that was over a year ago.

I returned to the village a few weeks ago and more shops had opened up, the shutters which used to be mostly closed were now fully open and the merchandize openly on display. I was offered a range of rhino horn Karma bracelets and other items.

Things had clearly gotten worse and the trade in ivory and rhino horn was and is increasing with one shop operator stating that they consume an average of two horns a week.

The buyers are 90% tourists from China being brought to the village by Chinese tour guides which are of course on a commission deal. For any buyer concerned about taking items back across the border into China the shops offer a delivery service of 50% down payment and then getting a phone call in the returnees home town asking for a meeting and bringing the other 50%. Indications are that an ivory and rhino horn tourism is developing in the region with a lot of such outlets being established in countries neighboring China.

More recently an ambassador from a European country visited and managed to confirm all this information collecting very similar images as we had and documenting a new ivory workshop.

The message appears to be that countries like Vietnam are not interested into any aspect of control domestically, or as is the case with China, whatever is done is done for outside consumption and is merely window dressing and lip service. by Karl Ammann, wildlife trade investigator.

China’s big plans for ‘America’s backyard’

South African rangers kill 3 poachers

What will you do today to turn your vision into action?

Kenya’s ‘Maasai Olympics’ fights dwindling lion numbers

Major wildlife slaughterhouse busted in Hanoi. VIETNAM

In Vietnam, upstream forests chopped down as authorities deliberately deny responsibility. (NA comment: Sounds a familiar story.)

Investors gamble forest preservation will pay off in carbon markets

Adenan walks the talk. SARAWAK

Brig Gen: No illegal logging at Sarawak-Indonesia border so far
Read more: NA COMMENT: Given the length of the border it is hard to imagine how such a claim can be substantiated.

Goodbye to the Baiji

Obituary for the Baiji: Chinese river dolphin declared extinct

Illegal trophy trade fuels call for declaring poaching a disaster. KENYA
Read more at:

Pandas versus orangutans? – The Tired Eye. MALAYSIA

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