Egypt’s Ministry of Environment launched a campaign for keeping the wildlife and countering illegal trafficking in the wildlife. The campaign found lately five African lions in a house owned by one of the traffickers in Abu Zaabal district in Qalyubia governorate.
According to a statement from the ministry, its administration for preserving biodiversity has received information about the incident and formed a committee for checking the lions that concluded three females and two males.
Khaled Allam, head of the administration for preserving biodiversity in the Ministry of Environment, said that the five lions were illegally trafficked into Egypt violating the international agreements and the Egyptian law No 4 for 1994 and its amendments. The five lions were handed out to the Giza zoo for animals.
Trafficking in wildlife is illegal worldwide and in Egypt, and the Egyptian law for environment imposes fines on those who illegally trade in wildlife and endangered species, such as turtles and sea birds.
According a new report by the C4ADS (Centre for Advanced Defence Studies) as part of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership, Egypt is one of the transit countries for wildlife trafficking through airports.
Routes of wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horn, and pangolin tend to flow from Africa to Asia, often transiting first through the Middle East and Europe, according to the report.
“Traffickers are increasingly abusing transport systems to move their products quickly and securely. During the journey from source to market, airports may be used in the transit,” said Juliana Scavuzzi, senior manager of Environment at Airports Council International (ACI) World. She added that, “this provides airports with an important opportunity to play their role in preventing wildlife trafficking. ACI is committed to developing a framework to fight wildlife trafficking, and support our members with their efforts.”
“Often run by dangerous international networks, wildlife trafficking has been linked to other illicit activities such as human and drug trafficking, with the profits being used for all manner of illegal activity, Hallie Sacks, from ROUTES told Daily News Egypt.
She added that wildlife trafficking puts pressure on already vulnerable species, and risks compromising the safety and health of local and global communities. Over 7,000 species are impacted by illegal wildlife trade and without immediate action, many of the world’s most iconic species could disappear in this generation.