Policing illegal wildlife trafficking in Abu Dhabi

With the support of the Abu Dhabi Police, IFAW’s Middle East North Africa office and the Emirates Dog Breeders Society organized the second Prevention of Wildlife Trafficking Training workshop in Abu Dhabi.

The 5-day training workshop took place in October at the Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The purpose of our workshop was to train police officers and officials on how illegal wildlife enters the country, how to discern techniques employed by smugglers to hide contraband, and to know what animals are commonly trafficked illegally. In addition, there was training in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) rules and CITES permits.

We had a good turnout: In attendance were 45 police officers and officials from the Abu Dhabi Airport Police, Abu Dhabi Land Border Entry Point, Customs, the Ministry of the Environment and the Protected Areas Authority.

Also there was a participation by Dr. Fattehi Al-Faori, the head of Jordanian Environmental Police, as a trainer who presented an interesting session about the role of the Environmental Police inJordanin combating the illegal wildlife trade and advising UAE authority to adopt the idea of establishing the Environmental Police Department.

IFAW has over several years trained hundreds of custom officials from Middle Eastern and North African countries through IFAW Prevention of Illegal Trade training workshops, reducing the suffering of hundreds of animals and capturing criminals.

In April 2011, a shipment of two carved tusks and 20 ivory statues was seized in Cairo airport in April. Two of the wildlife and veterinarian officers involved in the seizure were participants in IFAW’s Prevention of Illegal Trade in Wildlife training in Egypt. The case was sent to the court and the shipment is being kept in the stores of the Government Agriculture museum in Cairo.

-- EM

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