CITES gives full backing to new IATA Live Animals Regulations


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PRESS RELEASE

CITES gives full backing to new IATA Live Animals Regulations

Geneva, 3 November 2004 – Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Mr Willem Wijnstekers, today gave his complete backing to the new edition of the Live Animals Regulations set down by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which are recognized by the 166 countries members of CITES as the international standard for transporting live animals by air. Similarly, IATA provides guidance for the transport of live plants which is useful to CITES Parties.

The IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR) are an essential source of information on how to ship animals safely, sensitively and effectively. They specify the minimum requirements for the international transport of animals, specifying ventilation, space, packing, feeding and other conditions to minimize the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment. Both safety and animal welfare concerns are given attention in these regulations.

The CITES Secretariat and IATA have a long history of cooperation to ensure that animal transportation procedures comply with international and national requirements and contribute to the effective implementation of CITES by airlines, shippers, cargo agents and animal-care professionals on the ground and in the air. Representatives of IATA attending the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, which ended on 14 October 2004 in Bangkok, reiterated the organization’s long-term commitment towards civil aviation safety requirements whilst taking into account animal welfare, scientific progress and commercial trade realities, and expressed their willingness to share their expertise with Parties. It was agreed that the collaboration between CITES and IATA should be formalized, and that a draft resolution to that effect should be submitted at the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in 2007.

Mr Wijnstekers commended IATA’s animal-care team for their dedication in providing substantial assistance and training on how to ship live animals and plants safely and legally, and declared that “where these regulations are not implemented, or prove to be insufficient, IATA and CITES should together take steps to ensure that improvements are made. However, as several studies have shown, air transport mortality rates for live animals are actually very low, indicating that the IATA LAR are generally well adhered to.”

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO, said that "Standards work best when they are built cooperatively using the experience of the industry. An efficient and safe industry is in everybody's interest. IATA's cooperation with CITES is a great example of what can be achieved when Governments and industry work together."

Concerned about the overexploitation of many vulnerable species as a result of unregulated international trade, Governments adopted CITES in 1973. The treaty entered into force in 1975 and now has 166 member countries. The Convention gives producer and consumer countries joint responsibility for controlling international trade in wildlife to ensure that it is sustainable and to prevent illegal trade.

Note to journalists: For more information, contact: in the CITES Secretariat, Juan-Carlos Vasquez at +41-22-917-8156 (juan.vasquez@unep.ch), or Tom De Meulenaer at +41-22-78131 (tom.de-meulenaer@unep.ch); or in IATA, Tony Concil at +41 22 770 29 60 (corpcomms@iata.org).

 

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