Monday, April 20, 2015
Airfreight transhipment turns out to be ivory

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) seized a large shipment of ivory being transshipped through Perth.

ACBPS officers detected the 110 kilograms of ivory while examining an air cargo shipment from Malawi, being transhipped to Malaysia.

ACBPS regional commander Western Australia Rod O'Donnell said Australia has some of the strongest wildlife protection laws in the world and commended the officers involved in the seizure.

"The smuggling of endangered wildlife and wildlife parts is a very serious issue and we are dedicated to shutting down this horrible and cruel trade," Mr O'Donnell said.

"This seizure shows Australia's commitment to protecting the world's endangered wildlife for future generations."

ACBPS enforces border controls for Australia's obligations as a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The convention aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wildlife does not threaten their survival. It accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,600 species of animals and plants through regulating trade in these species.

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, (EPBC Act) the export and import of wildlife products is strictly regulated.

The maximum penalty for offences under the EPBC Act is up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $170,000, for individuals, and up to $850,000 for corporations.

Australia also implements stricter domestic measures regarding all species belonging to the Family Elephantidae (elephant) and treats all elephant species as though they are listed on Appendix I of CITES, which affords them the highest available protection.

The seized ivory has been referred to the Department of the Environment and investigations are ongoing.
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