Disposal of live confiscated specimens

At its 17th meeting (CoP17, Johannesburg, 2016), the Conference of the Parties adopted Resolution Conf. 17.8 on Disposal of illegally traded and confiscated specimens of CITES-listed species. The Resolution contains recommendations to Parties on available disposal options of live and dead specimens. Annexes 1 and 2 to the Resolution provide guidelines for the disposal of confiscated live animals and plants, respectively, while Annex 3 contains guidelines for the development of an action plan on seized and/or confiscated live specimens.

Decision 18.159 directs the Secretariat to collect information on existing networks and resources on the management of seized and confiscated live animals and make it available to Parties.





General guidelines on the management of seized and confiscated live animals

Online Learning Programme – Handling Live Animals in the Context of Enforcement Operations (IFAW, 2023) - Registration >ENFRES
International Legal Best Practices for the Custodial Management of Trafficked Live Wild Animals (Legal Atlas, IFAW, 2023)EN  
Evidentiary Protocol for Cases involving Live Wild Animals (Legal Atlas, IFAW, 2023)EN  
Guidelines for the management of confiscated, live organisms (IUCN, 2019)ENFRES
Other Language Version   

Regional and National guidelines on the management of seized and confiscated live animals

Guidelines for the safe handling of wildlife and wildlife products during counter-wildlife trafficking enforcement operations in Asia (WCS)EN  
Guidelines and decision-tree of Cambodia’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team for dealing with seized live wildlife (Wildlife Alliance, Forestry Administration of Cambodia, Oxford Brookes University, 2017)EN  
Validación de protocolos de manejo de fauna silvestre en el hogar de paso del centro agroecológico en el departamento de la Guajira (Universidad cooperativa de Colombia, 2019)  ES
Resolución Nº 2.064 - Reglamentan las medidas posteriores a la aprehensión preventiva, restitución o decomiso de especímenes de especies silvestres de fauna y flora (Colombia, 2010)  ES
Manejo post decomiso de fauna silvestre (Corporación Autónoma Regional del Tolima, CORTOLIMA, 2015)  ES
Manipulación de fauna silvestre decomisada en Nicaragua Manuel básico (Ministerio del ambiente y los recursos naturales del Nicaragua, 2009)  ES
Guía Manejo de animales silvestres decomisados o hallados en abandono (Ministerio de Agricultura del Perú, WCS, 2019)  ES
Lineamientos técnicos para la disposición de especímenes vivos de fauna silvestre decomisada o hallada en abandono (Ministerio de Agricultura del Perú, 2012)  ES
Manual: Identificación y cuidados iniciales de animales silvestres decomisados o hallados en abandono (Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego del Perú)  ES
Guía técnica para el manejo de fauna silvestre dentro del territorio CAR (PROCAT Colombia, Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca, 2019)  ES

Specific guidelines on captivity

Building Sustainable Sanctuaries (Arcus Foundation, 2012)EN  
Good Practice Guidelines for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres (BVZS, 2016)EN  
Manual of procedures for wildlife disease risk analysis (IUCN, OIE, 2014)EN  
Guidelines for Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis (OIE, IUCN, 2014)EN  
Terrestrial Animal Health Code (OIE, 2021)ENFRES
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) - Recommended operation manual for establishing a primate sanctuaryENFR 
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) - Supplementary information to operation manual for a primate sanctuaryEN  
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) - Primate veterinary health manualENFR 

Specific guidelines on the return of specimens to the country of export for release to the wild

Model International Agreement on Repatriation of Trafficked Live Wild Animals (Legal Atlas, IFAW, 2023)EN  
Model International Agreement on Repatriation of Trafficked Live Wild Animals – Implementing Guidelines (Legal Atlas, IFAW, 2023)EN  
Quarantine and health screening protocols for wildlife prior to translocation and release in to the wild (IUCN, 2001)EN  
Guidelines for reintroductions and other conservation translocations (IUCN, 2013)ENFRES
Establishment Standards of Wildlife Rehabilitation (RSPCA, 2010)EN  
Lineamientos para el seguimiento y monitoreo post-liberación de fauna silvestre rehabilitada (Mary Cerliz Choperena Palencia, Néstor Javier Mancera-Rodríguez, 2016)  ES
Code of Practice for the Welfare of Wildlife During Rehabilitation (Government of Canada)EN  

Specific guidelines on euthanasia

AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals (American Veterinary Medical Association, 2020)EN  
Euthanasie des animaux sauvages (Université de Laval, 2015) FR 
Manual de referencia sobre la eutanasia (The Humane Society de los Estados Unidos, 2013)  ES
Disposición final de productos o especímenes de fauna silvestre decomisada o aprehendida preventivamente o restituida (2010)   ES

Species specific guidelines and best practices

Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus (CITES)EN  
Pangolins, Manis spp. (Save Vietnam’s Wildlife)EN  
Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus (SSN) FR 

Guidelines for Frontline Personnel on the Care and Transport of Live Confiscated Animals in the Sulu-Celebes Region – English (IFAW, 2023)


Guidelines for Frontline Personnel on the Care and Transport of Live Confiscated Animals in the Sulu-Celebes Region – Indonesian (IFAW, 2023)


Guidelines for Frontline Personnel on the Care and Transport of Live Confiscated Animals in the Sulu-Celebes Region – Malay (IFAW, 2023)

The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC)The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of volunteer experts working together in more than 140 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities and Task Forces. Some groups address conservation issues related to particular groups of plants or animals while others focus on broader issues such as reintroduction of species into former habitats, wildlife health and sustainable use and trade. Each group contains the names and contacts of specialists.EN  
WAZA MembersWAZA members are regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to achieve the most in conservation of animals and their habitats.EN  
European Union Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange (EU-TWIX, TRAFFIC)The EU-TWIX database has been developed to assist national law enforcement agencies, including CITES Management Authorities and prosecutors, in their task of detecting, analyzing and monitoring illegal activities related to trade in fauna and flora covered by the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. Accessible only to EU members States, the database is designed to centralize their data on seizures and offences. It also includes a section with technical and scientific information to facilitate the identification, evaluation and disposal of seized or confiscated specimens.EN  
Africa Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange (AFRICA-TWIX, TRAFFIC)The AFRICA-TWIX tool is currently implemented in several countries of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) zone. It consists of a secured mailing list to enable Wildlife trade enforcement authorities in the region to communicate, as well as a database, to centralize and classify seizures data. AFRICA-TWIX was developed on the model of EU-TWIX.ENFR 
Southern African Development Community Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange (SADC-TWIX, TRAFFIC)The SADC-TWIX tool consists of two components: a secure mailing list enabling agencies engaged in the fight against illegal wildlife trade to communicate with one another in real time, as well as a website that contains useful resources, such as training materials, identification guides and a centralized database of wildlife seizures made by the participating SADC Member States. SADC-TWIX has been developed along the lines of EU-TWIX and AFRICA-TWIX.ENFR 
EARS Rescue Database (European Alliance rescue centres and sanctuaries)The EARS Rescue Database was created to enable a quick and easy way to search for wild animal rescue centres and sanctuaries in Europe.EN  
Southern California Wildlife Confiscations NetworkPilot program operated under the umbrella of the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a program of AZA, which include more than twenty partners, including U.S. government agencies, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, AZA-accredited facilities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities, botanical gardens, and certified facilities of the Global Federal of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). It establishes a framework to reduce wildlife trafficking and increase support for law enforcement including species identification, medical triage, and both short and long-term holding for confiscated wildlife.EN  
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA)PASA is a network of 23 accredited primate and wildlife rescue centers and sanctuaries in 13 African countries, providing immediate and long-term care and rehabilitation to primates and other wildlife rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. EN