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Wildlife Trafficking is Criminal Offense in the UAE: Legal Ramifications, Punishments

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Shulka S. Chavan

Published on March 23, 2024, 12:29:14


wildlife trafficking, species, global, illegal trade

In recent years, the illegal trade of wildlife has emerged as a pressing global issue, threatening the survival of countless species and undermining conservation efforts worldwide.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), known for its bustling trade hubs and international airports, has not been immune to this illicit trade. A recent incident at Dubai Airport highlights the severity of wildlife trafficking offenses and the legal consequences that perpetrators may face.

This article explores the incident and delves into the legal framework surrounding wildlife trafficking in the UAE.

In a recent case at Dubai Airport, authorities apprehended an individual attempting to smuggle a live snake and a monkey's hand in their luggage. This brazen attempt to traffic wildlife through a major international transport hub underscores the persistent challenges faced by authorities in combating this illegal trade.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and enforcement efforts to curb wildlife trafficking activities.

Legal Ramifications

Wildlife trafficking in the UAE is a criminal offense punishable under various federal and local laws. The UAE is a signatory to international conventions and agreements aimed at combating wildlife trafficking, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

As such, the UAE has implemented stringent measures to regulate and control the import, export, and transit of wildlife and their derivatives.

Punishments for Wildlife Trafficking

Individuals caught engaging in wildlife trafficking in the UAE may face severe legal consequences, including imprisonment and substantial fines. The severity of the punishment depends on factors such as the type and quantity of wildlife involved, the intent of the offender, and the circumstances surrounding the offense.

Offenders may also face confiscation of the trafficked wildlife and forfeiture of any proceeds derived from the illegal trade.

Legal Framework

The UAE has enacted several federal laws and regulations to combat wildlife trafficking and protect endangered species. The Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 Concerning Regulating the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and its Implementing Regulations set forth the legal framework for controlling the import, export, and re-export of wildlife and their products. Additionally, individual emirates may have their own laws and regulations governing wildlife conservation and protection.

Enforcement Efforts

Authorities in the UAE are actively engaged in efforts to detect, deter, and prosecute wildlife trafficking activities. This includes enhanced surveillance and monitoring at ports of entry, collaboration with international law enforcement agencies and public awareness campaigns to educate the public about the consequences of wildlife trafficking.

The recent incident at Dubai Airport underscores the importance of these enforcement efforts in combating this illicit trade. Wildlife trafficking poses a significant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem health, and its impacts extend far beyond the borders of any single country.

In the UAE, the illegal trade of wildlife is met with stringent legal measures and severe punishments to deter offenders and protect endangered species.
By enforcing existing laws, enhancing international cooperation, and raising public awareness, authorities in the UAE can continue to combat wildlife trafficking and safeguard the natural heritage of the region for future generations.

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