EGYPT IS THE FIRST ROUTE OF ILEGAL TRAFFICKING OF PRIMATES
Posted in 23/07/2008
As long as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) had dennied, during the last meeting on Geneve, to take energetic measures towards Egypt (one of the countries which signs the convention) about the fact that the country has been turning a blind eye to the poaching of african primates in its territory, PASA does an international alert asking for all countries and organization to denounce Egypt for its participation on the ilegal trading.
GAP Project International is together with PASA in this action and asks everyone who is committed with the great primates rights cause to send their messages to the Egypt Embassies of each country, protesting about the lack of control of the poaching of primates in Africa, which uses Egypt as the main route.
Doug Cress, PASA Executive-Director, declared that "CITES seems to think that Egypt could handle the control of the ilegal trade of primates, but it is already proved that the country is not able and does not have political will to take firm action to prevent that chimpanzees and gorillas leave Africa through the country."
PASA evaluates that more than 100 chimpanzees and gorillas live in private zoos in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and other tourist centers of Egypt. The estimation is that all of them have ilegal origin. The egyptician authorities do not agree to show the documents of the small number of chimpanzees that they affirmed to have confiscated. The trafficking net that goes from west and center of Africa to Egypt, which was first dennounced in 1996, continues untouched. One estimates that 25 chimpanzees are poached every year by this route to attend zoos and collectors of asian and arabian countries.
According to Doug Cress, "if CITES is serious about ending with the traffikcing of primates in the world, Egypt must be the first target."
Everyone still remembers the incident that happened four years ago at Cairo Airport, when a container was opened and six baby chimpanzees and four monkeys were found inside it. The local authorities did not confiscated the animals, but instead closed the container and sent it back to Nairobi, from where it had came. As a result one chimpanzee and all the monkeys arrived dead. This episode showed an enormous lack of sensibility and puts in doubt any promises that egyptian authorities would make to put an end in the poaching of primates through the country boundaries.
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
GAP Project International