Sunday, January 22, 2006

RI Suffers Loss of U$1 Billion Due to Animal Trafficking

RI Suffers Loss of U$1 Billion Due to Animal Trafficking

Jan 19 17:33


Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has suffered a loss of about US$1 billion per year due to rampant wild animal trafficking, The Gibbon Foundation director Willie Smits said on Thursday.


"Among the wild animals often be smuggled abroad are birds of paradise, cockatoos, parrots, orang utans, lizards and snakes," he said.


Some 50,000 birds of paradise were smuggled from Jayapura, the capital of Indonesias easternmost province of Papua, to foreign states every year, he said adding that such Indonesian big cities as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan have been used as gates to smuggle the animals.


"Bali has even become the gate for the trafficking which used baggage to smuggle the animals," he said.


Smits said the animals were smuggled to Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong as well as Middle Eastern and European states.


He also said the animals were traded at around US$50,000 each in European countries although they were bought at Rp 150,000 (US$15.78) to Rp 250,000 back home.


Most of the animals were smuggled from Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.


The rampant smuggling has turned Indonesia into the largest source of animal trafficking, he said adding that loose baggage check at the airport has led to the rampant animal trafficking.


Smits also said many Indonesian officials brought wild animals as a gift after they finished their duty outside Java island. (*) 


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