Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Nigeria: Agency clamps down on traders of cheetah, lion, other endangered animal products

Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Agency Clamps Down On Traders of Endangered Animals Product

Mustapha Suleiman

8 March 2010

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, on Wednesday raided Trancorp Hilton Hotel and Arts and Craft village, close to Sheraton Hotel Abuja confiscating items made of animals that are considered "endangered wildlife" from traders that deal in them.

The enforcement team was led by Alhaji Maiwada Omar, Director Environmental Quality Control accompanied by armed policemen took the traders of hides and skin and other artefacts by surprise, leading to the confiscation of many items ranging from elephant tusks materials made of snake, leopard, cheetah, crocodile and lion skin.

Speaking to newsmen during the raid, Alhaji Miawada Omar said that hunting, trafficking or trading in endangered wild life is a criminal offence that may lead violators to jail in the country.

He explained that such acts is displacing our tourism and making Nigeria a n illegal transit point as people come from different Africa countries to trade in skin or parts of CITES listed endangered wildlife which include lion, apes, elephants, crocodile, parrots, snakes, tortoise .

Speaking to Journalists Public Relation Officer of Arts and Crafts Village Traders Association, Mr. Eruada Steve said that it is not all the animals that were hunted and killed as being alleged by NESREA, arguing that some might have been killed because they are destructive to human and agriculture and that they are only being used for their aesthetic purposes only.

Also speaking, Mr. KeleChukwu Udogu, Vice President Transcorp branch Of Arts and Craft Traders Association said that they were neither sensitised about the endangered species nor informed prior to the "invasion" by NESREA.



Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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