European Parliament, Strasbourg Representatives of the European Alliance for Rescue Centres and Sanctuaries (EARS) and of AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection presented the views of CITES – accredited rescue centres, key players in struggle against wildlife trafficking.
The MEPs of the Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals discussed the conditions of confiscated animals and the role of rescue centres. This issue will be debated at the upcoming CITES Standing Committee meeting, in the context of the implementation of CITES Resolution 17.8 on disposal of illegally traded specimens. The European Parliament Resolution urges parties to develop national plans to identify ways for procuring funds for the care of confiscated animals.
The speakers underlined that the staff of qualified rescue centres can offer expertise to the government in identifying, handling, transporting, housing, and caring for specimens, or can train government representatives in these skills. Rescue centres can keep detailed records which may prove invaluable for law enforcement purposes and ensure that animals are not sold, stolen, permitted to re-enter trade, unnecessarily euthanized, or improperly released. However, presently no consistent and clear standards exist for the designation and selection of rescue centres throughout the EU and they suffer from a chronic lack of funds and consideration.