Dubai customs sign animal pact with The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
The war on the illegal trade of endangered animals and plants was stepped up in Dubai yesterday as the emirate's customs department joined forces with The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The animal protection organisation will help train Dubai customs officers in how to identify banned animal products and keep them up-to-date on which animals and plants are on the endangered list.
Dr Elsayed Ahmad A Mohamed, the MENA regional director of IFAW told 7DAYS: “We are running a programme about the prevention of trafficking of wildlife.
“We hope from this co-operation to make an impact on preventing wildlife trade.”
Speaking at an exhibition in Mirdif City Centre of animals and animal products seized at Dubai International Airport - which includes cheetah skins, elephant tusks, and stuffed birds of prey - Dr Mohamed said banned items arrived in the emirate from around the world.
He added: “If you are a customs officer in Dubai, you are liable to check species from anywhere in the world so you have to know everything.”
A total of 19 illegal items have been seized at the airport already this year.
The exhibition in Mirdif City Centre, aimed at educating the public about endangered species, will be moved to Dubai Airport next week.