Tortoise Information visit the
World Chelonian Trust Web Site
The following material
is from The New York Turtle and Tortoise Society web site, http://nytts.org/.
Proceedings: Conservation, Restoration, and Management of Tortoises and
Turtles -- An Intenational Conference. Copyright 1997 by the New
York Turtle and Tortoise Society. Reprinted by permission.
CITES and the Tortoise and Turtle Trade
TRAFFIC Europe Enforcement Project,
Barbaralaan 120, 4834 SM - P.O. Box 4625, 4803 EP Breda, The Netherlands
The expanding international wildlife trade has contributed significantly
to the decline of many tortoise and turtle populations in the wild.
Regulations set forth by the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) could be used as a tool to help stem these declines, but serious
problems in enforcement have prevented their successful application.
While serving as a CITES enforcement officer, the author made observations
in the course of day-to-day inspections of wildlife shipments. These
are reported here as a series of case studies that document many of these
enforcement failures. These cases also reveal extensive failures
in compliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live
Animals Regulations for the proper air transport of chelonians. The
consequent inhumane and often deplorable conditions frequently result in
the death of high numbers of the transported animals.
||In a shipment from Kazakhstan to the USA
(intercepted in Amsterdam), 3,000 Testudo horsfieldii were packed
in 60 crates; 127 were dead.
In this shipment en route from Tanzania
to the USA (seized in Amsterdam), 511 pancake tortoises, Malacochersis
tornieri, in extremely poor condition, were packed in layers on top
of one another.
||A shipment of 500 Testudo horsfieldii,
en route from the former USSR to Hong Kong, was opened because of the foul
odor emanating from the cartons. In this photo the inspector points
to a maggot at the bottom of the crate.
In addition to the crushed animals in this
same shipment of 500 Testudo horsfieldii, numerous individuals had
fractured carapaces, crushed skulls, and severed limbs.
Photos by the Wil Luiijf
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