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
- Learn more by about the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and INTERPOL Wildlife Crime working Group.
- Do not buy ivory, skins or other animal parts, and please report them to us when you see them for sale.
- Do not keep endangered animals as pets and do not buy them from pet shops. Even if you feel sorry for the animal you will only encourage the trade and a new animal will replace the one you purchased.
- Do not visit zoos or attractions that keep trafficked animals.
- See an endangered animal that you believe was brought illegally to Lebanon? Report it to us and the national CITES office in the Ministry of Agriculture.