Friday, 30 November 2012

IUCN cries foul over trade in python skins but CITES issued 400,000 export licences


International Trade Centre have launched a report - Trade in South-East Asian Python Skins

Study raises concern over international trade in python skins

November 2012. A new study finds that close to half a million python skins are reported as exported annually from South-East Asia. The main importer is the European fashion and leather industry. The study raises concerns over the illegality in parts of the trade, animal welfare issues and the trade's impact on the conservation of python populations.

Concerns raised about legal quotas.
Wildlife Extra raised concerns in May 2012 about the sustainability of the trade in python skins - Purely based on CITES export quotas, which make them legal transactions. One of the striking facts revealed by the 2011 quota is the vast trade in pythons from around the world, but mostly from West Africa & Indonesia. The 2011 quota for pythons was more than 400,000! Now it isn't always possible to tell exactly what that number means, but it includes live animals and skins, and, most worryingly, gall bladders. Why on earth are CITES issuing permits for while IUCN are raising concerns about the trade?

Aside from gall bladders, the annual quota for 2011 of 400,000 items seems totally unsustainable - And when you look closer at the figures more than half of this total is for exports from Indonesia - who have a quota for 212,000 pythons or python skins (and an extraordinary 135,000 spitting cobras too!).

Gall bladder permits - Why?
Why does CITES permit trade in python (or any other) gall bladders when the only demand for them is from sad misguided people who believe that it has curative properties for many ailments. CITES also gave permits for 3000+ kilograms of galls and gall bladders to be exported from Russia to Korea alone (many other permits were given too.

To access the CITES database, please click here.

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