Illegal Trade

The illegal trade of endangered species and their products is a billion dollar industry and frequently involves money laundering, fraud, counterfeiting and violence.

A significant proportion of wildlife crime is carried out by organized criminal networks, drawn by the low risk and high profit nature of these types of crime. The same routes used to smuggle wildlife across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people.

Animals such as lions, tigers, cheetahs, chimpanzees, gray parrots and even an elephant have been smuggled into or through Lebanon in recent years. These animals end up in unregulated zoos, in private collections, as exotic pets or for sale in pet shops, while others are trafficked through Lebanon to their final destination.

We are working to stop this trade by having Lebanon join the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and meet the obligations of the convention.

CITES is an international agreement between governments aiming to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

In March, 2010, Animals Lebanon joined the Minister of Agriculture at the CITES conference held in Qatar. We took part in the meeting between the Minister and the Secretary General of CITES and were pleased that the Minister formally announced that he intends to have Lebanon join CITES as soon as possible and welcomed our support.

That same year we held a national workshop with the European Commission TAIEX program on CITES and the welfare of animals at zoos. This was done under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture to further highlight the need to have Lebanon join CITES.

We continued to work with the Ministry and Lebanon became the 178th party to the convention, entering into force on 26 May, 2013.

What you can do

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