Showing posts with label CITES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CITES. Show all posts

Wednesday 20 May 2015

UAE's destructive fascination with exotic animals

Rich arabs in the UAE tend to be fascinated with possessing exotic animals and a favourite is the cheetah. Why the cheetah? Because it is quite a shy, retiring large wild cat species which is fairly easy to handle and which has been employed for centuries to go hunting with their human 'master'.

The big problem is the rich arabs of the UAE circumvent regulations and treaties such as CITES to smuggle these animals into their country to populate their private zoos whereupon, through gross ignorance and a lack of sensitivity, they gradually starve the animal to death via neurological disorders. Some UAE residents haven't a clue how to care for a large cat. It will please and amuse them for a while and then it will die at which point, I suppose, they smuggle in another. They are disposable, you know, even if they are endangered.

Only this month a post-mortem on a cheetah revealed carpet in it stomach. It must have been so hungry it ate carpet.

These arrogant, exotic cat owners don't kill their 'pets' deliberately. God forbid. They kill through ignorance. The buyers of these animals act on a whim. It shows. No doubt they like the status of possessing an exotic wild cat. It is pathetic and sad.

And we have to criticise the people who are meant to enforce CITES. This treaty is meant to stop illegal trade in wild species but it has to be enforced if it is to be useful. Money circumvents enforcement.

Cheetahs and other large wild cat species are in the UAE for the sole purpose of entertaining the rich with connections.

There are no laws in UAE regulating private zoos. There should be. The rich arabs of UAE are contributing to the extinction of wild cat species in the wild. Something must be done. People in authority need to take steps. They need to take responsibility. They are not concerned. They are too involved with how to spend their petro-dollars.

Monday 7 November 2011

Asian Golden Cat Conservation

What is being done about Asian golden cat conservation? The first question is, "does this cat require conservation?" Yes. But do the authorities think that it does? As at 2002 it was said that it was difficult to assess the status of this cat species in the wild because not enough was known about it.

In China it is on the Protected Species List. This however will provide little actual protection. During the period 1980-81 234 skins where purchased in Jiangzi. This is one example. The skins of the Asian golden cat were commercially desirable and probably still are.

Camera trap - photo siwild (Flickr)
Another threat will be habitat loss. This cat is a forest dweller and forests are being systematically logged in Asia. Other threats are snaring, loss of prey and being killed by farmers. It is classified as "Near Threatened" by the Red List™. Numbers are declining.

The IUCN Red List™ (and organization set up to help conserve wild species) says that the Asiatic golden cat (P. temminckii) is listed under under Appendix I of CITES. CITES is a international agreement on controlling and preventing trade in animal parts - see CITES in relation to cats. It is not very effective. It is protected in most areas of its distribution under the relevant national legislation. Hunting is prohibited in most places and regulated in Laos. In Bhutan it is not protected outside protected areas. How good is the protection? How well is it enforced?

Associated page: Asiatic golden cat pictures

Monday 9 June 2008

Bengal cats are CITES regulated

Photo copyright Helmi Flick.

It is useful to remind ourselves that some generations of Bengal cats are CITES regulated. This reminds us that the Bengal cat is a wildcat hybrid. It is easy to forget as the Bengal cats we see and those at cat shows are so domesticated. You have to be a pretty fantastic cat with regard to behavior never mind appearance to compete at the cat shows as the cats are handled a lot by strangers. CITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. CITES is an agreement between governments who are signed up to the convention. The agreement is designed to protect wildlife by regulating trade in wildlife between these countries. The ideas for the convention were put forward in the 1960s. The agreement was drafted in 1973 and came into effect in 1975. There are 172 parties to the agreement currently. There are about 189 countries in the world (I say about because "countries" such as the Vatican are an anomaly). When a country (State) becomes a party it has to enact laws in the country that give effect to the convention. This works in the same way as the European Union. I would have thought that it could be difficult to enforce the agreement and ensure agreeing countries enact the requisite laws and then enforce them. As Bengal cats come from a true wild cat, the Asian Leopard cat, Bengal cats are CITES regulated. In what way are they regulated? In respect of the UK and EEC countries (as far as I am aware) this is the position: Fifth (5th) generation Bengal cats (F5) are not regulated by CITES and can enter the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (see link below). The rules of the scheme must be complied with and the cat should have a proper pedigree certificate from TICA. Fourth generation (F4) and upwards (F3, F2 and F1) Bengal cats are CITES regulated. This is because CITES regulates hybrid animals whose recent lineage includes certain wild animals as listed in Appendix 1 or 2 of the Convention. The Asian Leopard cat is listed and up to the fourth generation is considered "recent lineage". For these Bengal generation cats you'll need an import/export license. There may be health requirements that can be dealt with by DEFRA (Defra) in the UK (DEFRA stands for Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs). Defra also enforces the The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. This act by implication only includes the Bengal cat. This probably wasn't intended but at the time the act was drafted the Bengal cat was only just being "created" in the USA. For many years Bengal cats required a license (technically) but the issuing of a license was and is the responsibility of the local authority who it seems routinely used discretion to wave the need for a license. As at Oct 2007 the schedule to the The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 has been amended. Defra don't specify exactly that the Bengal cat is excluded from the need for a license (and I have found it hard to research this) but would seem that a license is no longer required. Certainly in practice it wasn't anyway so this simply makes it more formal. As I said F1-F4 Bengal cats are CITES regulated. A license is required. Click on the link below to read what Defra say about importing pet animals into Britain.

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