Humane handling and care of confiscated live animals

Humane handling and care of confiscated live animals
Tuesday, 17 April, 2018
Rabat, Morocco

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), in cooperation with the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD) and AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection (AAP), organizes a training on the humane handling and care of confiscated live animals for the benefit of wildlife monitoring and control units, Customs officials and the National Office for Sanitary Safety of Food Products, in Rabat from 17 to 19 April 2018.

The training aims to build the capacity of government officials who are directly involved in confiscating and seizing wildlife from illegal trade, as well as supervisors monitoring trafficking, smuggling and illegal possession of wildlife. The training also pays specific attention to the humane handling and care of confiscated live animals, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both people and animals. This includes setting up temporary houses at the workstation, transporting the confiscated animals to shelters, and following important protocols to avoid the risks that may arise when dealing with wildlife.

To IFAW, capacity building is one of the most important components in the fight against illegal trade in wildlife. As Elsayed Mohamed, IFAW’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa argues, “Building the capacity of government officials is critical in preventing wildlife trafficking, especially in areas that are part of common trade routes. We are witnessing great efforts from the Moroccan government and their action and determination on this matter are much appreciated.”

During the training, national legislation concerning confiscated live animals will be discussed, as well as the correct identification of wild species commonly traded and any relevant hazards, especially diseases. In addition, international protocols that are adapted to comply with local conditions will be introduced – explaining how to deal with confiscated live animals, how to transport and harbor them, and how to protect both animals and staff members from any injuries. Furthermore, the training will help to strengthen the communication between the concerned authorities in the event of any confiscation or seizure.

On the importance of humane handling of confiscated live animals, Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer at IFAW says, “Handling and caring for wildlife smuggled through illegal trade is a major challenge for law enforcement agencies across the globe. As such, we are pleased to be assisting the Moroccan authorities in providing guidance to improve the welfare of confiscated endangered wildlife.”

Through the training, the cooperation and communication will be strengthened between the various sectors involved in the implementation of Morocco's international commitments in combating and protecting wildlife, in particular the CITES provisions. The capacity of the authorities that deal with the handling and care of confiscated live animals will be enhanced, and the authorities concerned will be informed on how to apply national legislation, in particular the provisions of Law No. 29.05 concerning the protection of wildlife in trade.

The training on the humane handling and care of live confiscated wildlife is part of “Born to Be Wild”, a project ensuring the sustainable protection of the endangered Barbary macaque. The project is funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Loterij), initiated by AAP, and executed together with IFAW. In Morocco, the training is conducted in close cooperation with HCEFLCD.

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