Saturday, 27 July 2013

130 crocodiles plus snakes and lizards seized in Russia

"Crocodile farm" seizure signals implementation of strengthened Russian legislation

July 2013. Acting on a tip-off, Russian authorities closed down a "crocodile farm" on 10th July and seized more than 130 crocodiles plus other reptiles on suspicion they may have been smuggled into the country, according to a statement issued by Moscow's Environment Conservation Department.

The majority of the seized reptiles were Nile Crocodiles, a species protected under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

No paper work
When challenged, the reptiles' owner was unable to produce the paperwork to confirm the animals had been obtained in accordance with CITES regulations through importation or legal captive breeding within the country.

Last month, Russia's State Duma approved legislative amendments so that anyone found smuggling "endangered species" can be prosecuted under criminal law and potentially face far tougher penalties than previously.

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