CITES Partner Spotlight: INTERPOL’s Project WEB combats online wildlife crime

Comments Off on CITES Partner Spotlight: INTERPOL’s Project WEB combats online wildlife crime

“As the CITIES conference comes to the end of its first week, I thought I would just add the video in along with this post. Born Free’s CEO Will Travis, talks about some of the issues raised. Although I can’t believe the bid to halt the polar bear trade, was just swept under the table…WTF… Russia, Canada & the US…really have left the polar bears out in the cold…literally! I’m disgusted with their decision; same goes for the poor manatee!! I can’t wait to see what rubbish they come up with next week, for protecting species round the world; who are just about hanging on with their teeth!! Do the delegates from their respective country, actually know the danger some species are in?? I have my doubts given the first weeks bungles, honestly some of them are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Take about 30 of us animal advocates from face book, stick us round a table; & I’m sure we could come up with plans to help those in need!!”

Today saw the launch of the first ever internationally coordinated enforcement investigation into the online ivory trade.

Following the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW’s) recommendation and with our support INTERPOL undertook Project WEB, an investigation into the online ivory trade within the EU.

Summing up week one at the CITES meeting in Bangkok

Published on 8 Mar 2013

Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, sums up week one at CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting, covering secret ballots, elephants, rhino, polar bears, manatees and turtles.

The report revealed that there were hundreds of ivory items conservatively valued at approximately EUR 1,450,000 for sale during a two-week period on Internet auction sites in nine European countries.

During this survey of sites by enforcers, more than 660 advertisements for ivory on 61 different auction sites were analysed and as a result of the surveillance, six national and three international investigations were launched in cases where ivory was described as new or where ivory was being traded from abroad.

Project WEB by the numbers:

Estimated €1.45 million worth of ivory

Found in 9 Countries

Across 61 auction websites

In 660 online advertisements

Containing 100s of items made from ivory

Over a 2 week period

Leading to 6 national investigations

And 3 international investigations

This week sees the 16th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The 177 countries that are Party to CITES have already agreed, thanks in part to IFAW’s lobbying efforts, to investigate and prosecute wildlife criminals trading online as well as evaluate or develop their domestic measures to ensure they are sufficient to fight online wildlife crime.

While at least one country has strengthened their legislation to specifically target online wildlife crime and a small number of countries have started to develop strategies for tackling illegal wildlife sales on the internet, many more countries need to deliver on their promise and stamp out online wildlife crime.

Since 2004 IFAW has been highlighting the growing global threat posed by online wildlife crime to endangered wildlife.  A series of IFAW investigations have repeatedly shown that there are thousands of wild animals and wildlife ‘products’, such as ivory, available for sale on the internet all over the world.

Stop The Ivory trade

IFAW has found live primates, big cats, birds and reptiles advertised online while animal parts from rhino’s, elephants, sharks, Tibetan antelopes and sturgeon have also been available to purchase on the internet.

In January 2012, IFAW’s online monitoring found 17,847 ivory products listed on 13 Chinese websites, even though none of these products had the necessary Government approval.

Meanwhile, a four-week investigation in the United Arab Emirates and some neighbouring Arab countries in the same year found 796 adverts featuring live wildlife over 11 websites. None of the adverts had any documentary proof to demonstrate that the sales complied with the law.

In Europe an IFAW investigation in 2011 found a thriving trade in ivory items. The investigation tracked 43 sites in the UK, France, Portugal, Spain and Germany for a two-week period and found 669 advertisements for ivory.

The statistics are disturbing but can be hard to comprehend so let me give you one example that shows the horrors of this illegal trade.

In 2010 a British couple admitted 12 counts of illegally exporting, three of illegally importing, seven of illegally selling and two of illegally possessing specimens under the Customs and Excise Management Act.

The couple in question had been selling animal body parts from owls, a baboon, macaque monkeys, a python, an African penguin, an African lion cub and a Malaysian flying fox.

These items were kept in a store room full of skulls and other animal body parts which, when I saw the pictures, made me think it as a room of death for wildlife.

Highlighting the problem of this trade is an important first step but IFAW has been going one stage further and engaging website companies, law enforcers and Governments in our campaign to stamp out online wildlife crime.

After our 2008 Killing with Keystrokes investigation, where we found ivory was the number one wildlife product being traded online, we encouraged eBay to ban the sale of ivory on their websites and IFAW was very pleased to see them announce this ban in January 2009.

Meanwhile other websites have since followed suit including Alibaba ( in China, the world’s largest business-to-business and outsource portal site for traders.

However, while banning the sale of wildlife products on websites does restrict unscrupulous traders’ ability to easily profit from these products, there is clearly a need for enforcers to ramp up their efforts.

We have seen traders time and again attempting to disguise their wildlife products to avoid detection by police, customs or website companies such as eBay.

In addition to working with INTERPOL IFAW is working with enforcement agencies across the world to catch online wildlife criminals by sharing the findings of our online investigations, facilitating international enforcement operations and by bringing together website companies and enforcement agencies in order that they can work in partnership in their fight against illegal wildlife sales on the internet.


Please sign petition:- Take action to help end the trafficking of wildlife online now, click here. 

News Link:-


Comments Off on SAVE OUR RHINO

“Please, watch the video below, then share with everyone you know…we must do everything we can to protect these magnificent animals!”

Published on 13 Jun 2012 by 

This movie was produced by UNTV in collaboration with the CITES Secretariat in an effort to raise public awareness of the current crisis faced by rhinoceros through illegal killing and international trade in rhino horn. The movie was be first shown on 18 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the Rio+20 Conference.

Poster Link:-

Petitions to sign:-

Related articles

Global Impact of Ivory Poaching in Africa Addressed at Congressional Hearing

Comments Off on Global Impact of Ivory Poaching in Africa Addressed at Congressional Hearing

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2012 — Further protections needed as 1.5 tons of elephant tusks seized in Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Sri Lankan authorities said they seized around 350 illegal elephant tusks weighing nearly 1.5 tons in Colombo port on Tuesday – marking the single biggest ivory haul in the island nation. As authorities around the globe work to bring these culprits to justice, today in the U.S. the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by Senator John Kerry held a hearing to examine the global security implications of elephant poaching in Africa.

“We applaud Senator Kerry for recognizing the global impact of the illegal ivory trade in Africa,” said Kelvin Alie, Program Director, Wildlife Crime and Consumer Awareness, IFAW. “Since 2004, the scale of wildlife trafficking and its subsequent impact on wildlife in African range states has increased significantly. It is vital that this illegal trade is eliminated before it causes irreparable damage to these species and the ecosystems in which they live.”

So far, 2012 has proven a bloody year for elephants. A report released this week from wildlife officials in the Republic of Congo estimates that nearly 5,000 elephants have been killed by poachers around the Nouabale Ndoki National Park over the past five years. In addition, a tragic killing spree earlier this year in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park left more than 200 elephants dead by the time the country’s military was sent into action.

“The U.S. has long been a leader in elephant conservation through programs like those managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and USAID,” said Jeff Flocken, IFAW DC Office Director. “With more and more links being found to organized crime, regional conflict and even terrorist groups, the U.S. can now lead in fighting wildlife crime by looking at it the same way we do the arms and drug trades – as a threat to national security and global stability.”

To learn more about IFAW’s efforts to protect elephants, visit

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal WelfareFounded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

IFAW Bear Rehab: Mother Bears Hunted & Shot Leaving Babies At Ursine orphanage

Comments Off on IFAW Bear Rehab: Mother Bears Hunted & Shot Leaving Babies At Ursine orphanage

The first video has a little of the second video in it, but English is spoken. Heartbreaking,  after hunters use their dogs to get the bear out of her den, the female bears are shot, leaving her cubs to die, unless they are taken to the only baby bear orphanage in Russia. But there is good news, watch the last video to find out!”

Warning the video does show a mother bear being sadistically killed & her newborn cubs are at the mercy of the hunters!

Published on 15 Apr 2012 by 

Baby bears prepare for wild at Russian cub orphanage.Russia‘s unique baby bear orphanage helps cubs prepare for life in the wild. Every year, illegal bear hunting in Russia leaves a large number of cubs orphaned. One scientist was so touched by the baby bears’ plight, he decided to do something about it. 

When Dr. Pazhetnov started his work in the early 1970s, Russia’s Winter Den Hunt was largely responsible for the orphan problem. Using dogs to frighten hibernating bears out of dens in late winter, hunters shot the mothers. New babies, just weeks old, were left behind to die, or turned into pets and abused. 

“The work was started in 1974 with three orphaned bear cubs”, Pazhetnov told RT. “I was like a surrogate mother. With my wife, we found out that the bear cubs didn’t need to be trained by the mother for the formation of normal animal behavior, which would allow them to survive in the wild.” 

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joined Pazhetnov and his family 16 years ago, turning his practice into a world-renowned rehabilitation center. Together they have saved hundreds of cubs. 

Pazhetnov’s methods mimic the natural process. The handlers wear the same clothes to feed the cubs in the den house, so they smell just like a bear. They cannot cuddle and kiss, no matter how tempting it may be. 

“The main thing is to put bears back into the wild”, Dr. Ian Robinson, Director of Emergency Relief at IFAW, told RT. “They don’t try and associate with humans, and they don’t cause problems with humans afterwards.” 

In April, the cubs are let outside and are then taken into a large enclosure in the forest with a shelter for bad weather. Porridge is gradually restricted, forcing them to become resourceful when finding food and adventurous regarding new tastes. 

The main problem, scientists say, is that Russia does not have its own animal welfare law or anti-cruelty law. 

“It is very difficult to get a federal ban, because a lot of important people and officials are hunters themselves”, Maria Vorontsova, IFAW Russia Director, told RT. “Frankly, it is ridiculous that in Russia, there is hunting for female mothers in the den when they have tiny cubs.” 

The fund’s most important aim now is to try and push for new legislation. Until such a law is in place, bear cubs are in grave danger, with only one fund to fend for them all.

Warning this shows the same hunters killing a mother bear!

Cynthia Moss on Elephant Mothers

Comments Off on Cynthia Moss on Elephant Mothers

“Don’t you just love baby elephants…their just sooooo cute! “



Published on 11 May 2012 by 

Happy Mother’s Day from IFAW

IFAW Seal Hunt Watch 2012 – surveying the first day of the hunt

Comments Off on IFAW Seal Hunt Watch 2012 – surveying the first day of the hunt

In this brief video, produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Sheryl Fink, director IFAW seal program updates us on the start of the 2012 Canadian commercial seal hunt.

%d bloggers like this: