Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

A Quick Guide to CITES

. Updated: 25 February 2013


CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is a 1973 agreement prohibiting or restricting the international trade in species of animals and plants threatened with extinction.

The CITES lists, known as Appendices I and II, are revised every three years. Appendix I prohibits all commercial trade in some 900 species that are threatened with extinction whilst Appendix II regulates trade in 4,000 animal and 22,000-plus plant species through a system of permits.

The Species Survival Network (SSN), founded in 1992, is an international coalition of over sixty non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to the promotion, enhancement, and strict enforcement of CITES. Through scientific and legal research, education and advocacy, the SSN is working to prevent over-exploitation of animals and plants due to international commercial trade. ADI is a member of SSN.

The Animal Defenders International has previously lobbied at the CITES conference in Zimbabwe, and gave a presentation to a CITES standing committee in Portugal on the identification of circus animals to eliminate smuggling. In Mozambique, ADI showed huge irregularities in CITES documentation for animals with the Akef Egyptian Circus (the circus was suspected of being a smuggling front). This was one of the factors that enabled us to seize every animal with the circus and relocate them. After six years of lobbying, the ADI proposals for stricter controls on cross border movements of animal exhibiitons were almost all adopted by the CITES Conference of Parties in November 2002.

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