Combating wildlife trafficking in Egypt

Egypt Training

In cooperation with the Franz Weber Foundation and the CITES Management Authority of Egypt, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has organized a prevention of wildlife trafficking workshop in Cairo to train 40 customs, environment police, airport security, and wildlife officers, veterinary quarantine officers and local NGOs to combat wildlife trafficking.

The five-day training included a number of topics, such as rules of the CITES convention, CITES permits, common species in trade, species identification tools, smuggling techniques, inspection at the borders and national legislations.

The training was a mix of presentations and interactive exercises that involved every participant in the training process.

Egypt is considered a transit country where the ivory is trafficked from East or central Africa while the buyers are the tourists in Egypt.

About one year ago I wrote about a change in the ivory trade route, even though government officials continue to confiscate ivory imported from countries that are not the usual export countries

But at the entry points the carved ivory is a little bit more problematic for customs officers as it may be confused with many forms of plastic, marbles, bones and other materials.

From our training needs assessment we found that there is a need for customs to know how to identify ivory. For this, we produced a simple poster showing what the Schreger lines look like in the carved ivory to help customs at the entry points to identify it easily.

One thousand posters are being distributed at Egypt’s entry points to show how you can identify ivory to stop ivory smuggling into and from Egypt.

We welcome the efforts made by the government in entry points to stop the trafficking, including efforts to fix x-ray machines to help in combating these illegal activities.

--EM

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