Trade in parrots and other tropical ornamental birds
Parrots, which are amongst the most globally endangered bird groups, are particularly affected by the worldwide illegal trade. For many, trapping for the pet trade has led to dramatic population losses. Numerous studies from the tropics have shown that orders from Asia and Europe in particular are or have been the main drivers of this decline. In the early 90s, in South America, CABS members documented in detail the cruel mass capture of parrots for the European market. The videos currently published by us have led to protests and legislative initiatives throughout Europe, as a result of which legal imports were restricted for the first time and finally banned throughout Europe in 2005. The legal international trade with wildly caught parrots has been strongly declining since.
Unfortunately, existing control instruments such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are only partially enforceable and always fail when it comes to the professional smuggling of rare specimens. Due to the open borders, it is now child's play to transport the coveted "goods" via Russia and Eastern Europe to the EU. In addition, customs officers in some countries are poorly trained to fight this type of environmental crime or overburdened with the containment of product piracy, drug trafficking or cigarette smuggling.