Sharjah: The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) foiled the attempted smuggling of 146 CITES-listed animals and birds of four species. CITES is an international treaty that prohibits trade in endangered animals.
The operation was carried out in cooperation with Sharjah Police headquarter and Al Madam Police Station, the operation took place close to the Sharjah border.
The smugglers from GCC nationals were caught red handed while they were trying to smuggle these animals and birds into the country without an import permit from the relevant authorities or health certificates.
The confiscated animals belonged to CITES-listed endangered species. Al Madam Police Station took the necessary actions and measures before handing the smugglers over to EPAA.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “In cooperation with Sharjah Police General Directorate, EPAA’s teams were able to foil the smuggling attempt of 146 animals and birds. This shows the extent of the teams’ care and commitment when they work to preserve and protect endangered species and provide them with the best living conditions.” She added that 379 prohibited, predatory and dangerous animals were caught last year.
Al Suwaidi explained that EPAA’s 27,000m2 shelter for predators at Desert Park is the first of its kind in the GCC. An important addition to Sharjah’s environmental efforts, it was designed to house predators and dangerous animals in accordance with international standards.
EPAA has a number of plans, ideas, initiatives and strategies related to preserving the environment and conserving biodiversity in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. In light of the environment’s importance to current and future generations, the wilderness areas, mountains, marine areas and beaches must be preserved and protected. This includes protecting endangered animals and birds and breeding them at a specialised centre. The Emirate of Sharjah has unique and innovative experience with breeding endangered animals.