SAN JOSE, Costa Rica— As wildlife trafficking has become a threat to hundreds of species, Humane Society International/Latin America is supporting Costa Rican authorities in their fight against it by donating equipment needed in wildlife trafficking investigations
The equipment, which includes animal carriers, herpetological bags, animal handling gloves and cameras, is valued at more than USD $100,000.
The donated equipment will support work done by three parts of the government: the Judicial Investigation , the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and the Ministry of Public Security.
Andrea Borel, HSI/Latin America executive director, explained that this donation is part of a project funded by the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and administered by HSI with the goal of improving Costa Rica’s capacity to combat wildlife trafficking.
“Wildlife trafficking is a major threat to species around the world, including endangered ones. These animals suffer greatly and end their days as pets, decorations or souvenirs, and this is unacceptable. Therefore, we are pleased to support authorities in their investigation and prosecution efforts to reduce wildlife trafficking that originates or transits through Costa Rica,” said Borel.
Shirley Ramirez, member of the National Commission for Biodiversity, said: “In recent years, we have detected an increase in cases of wildlife trafficking in Costa Rica, both aimed at national and international markets. The complexity and organization of these criminals evolves every day; hence, the importance of equipment, such as the one donated, that allows us to achieve successful investigations and subsequent legal processes.”
Wildlife trafficking is also one of the most lucrative illegal trades in the world. According to INTERPOL data, wildlife trafficking has an annual value of up to USD $20 billion. In Costa Rica, animals such as glass frogs, butterflies, beetles, birds and sea turtles are victims of the wildlife trade.
Media Contact: Andrea Borel: +506 7300 5706; firstname.lastname@example.org