Front-line airport staff trained to help stop wildlife traffickers

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Airport, airline, customs, immigration and government officials learn how to help stop wildlife trafficking through airports.

Airport, airline, customs, immigration and government officials learn how to help stop wildlife trafficking through airports.

Airline and airport staff in one of the world’s most active wildlife trafficking hotspots are now better equipped to detect, report and combat wildlife crime. At last week’s Wildlife Friendly Skies workshop at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, more than 240 participants received training in identifying common smuggling methods and routes, signs of trafficking, effective first-response actions and examined real-life case studies.

Extensive criminal networks regularly move large volumes of illegal wildlife and wildlife products through global commercial transport systems – including flights and airports. Everything from individual tiger cubs stuffed in suitcases ivory tusks and rhino horns concealed in cargo containers pass through international boundaries routinely. Live reptiles, birds and small primates are often intercepted while being smuggled, invariably in cruel, inhumane conditions.

Participants at the Wildlife Friendly Skies workshop, including flight attendants, cargo handlers and customs officers, learned more about what they can do to combat this crime. Experienced instructors presented an in-depth, country-specific analysis of the trade, as well as tips on how to identify wildlife crime and criminals, and reporting tools. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a supporting partner of Wildlife Friendly Skies, and has facilitated the training of transport staff from Africa to Asia.

Wildlife Friendly Skies is part of the Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking program, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Freeland.

Note to Editor
For more information and photos, please contact:
Matthew Pritchett, Director of Communications, Freeland, matthew@freeland.org
+66 2 254 8321 ext 121

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient societies to realize their potential. Following 50 years of improving lives through development and humanitarian assistance, USAID is the principal U.S. Government development agency partnering with countries throughout the world to promote peace, prosperity and security. Please visit www.usaid.gov/asia-regional or follow www.facebook.com/USAIDAsia and @USAIDAsia on Twitter for more information.

Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Our team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people. Freeland is also the lead implementing partner of “ARREST” (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), the U.S. Government’s largest counter-wildlife trafficking program, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more info, visit www.freeland.org also; follow Freeland on twitter @FREELANDpeople or facebook.com/freelandfoundation

International Air Transport Association – IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 260 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

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