More than 200 law enforcement officers will be trained in the handling of animals seized during anti-wildlife trafficking operations. The Republic of Congo is one of three countries to benefit from the project, which is managed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) with funding from the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Law enforcement officers often find themselves on the front line of dealing with live wildlife seized from trafficking rings. Despite their dedication to protecting wildlife, these officers often lack the skills to provide effective assistance.
To address this, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has announced that it will train more than 200 law enforcement officers to handle animals seized during anti-trafficking operations. Without being precise about the dates, IFAW indicates that these trainings will take place in Indonesia, Congo and Guyana (a country located in South America), high places of trafficking of protected species, where pangolins, parrots and primates are particularly sought after on the illegal market. The participants in the training are ecoguards, customs and border control officers, and police officers.
The use of confiscation kits
During the 13 training sessions, participants will learn how to use confiscation kits designed by IFAW and its partners to reduce biosecurity risks, ensure animal welfare and preserve the integrity of evidence. The kits are designed to protect both animals and people. Each kit contains personal protective equipment, animal first aid supplies, and equipment for collecting forensic evidence.
The trainings are part of the Confiscated Animals – Rescue & Enforcement Trainings (CARE) project, which is currently being implemented by IFAW with funding from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
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“Sadly, many wild animals seized from trafficking networks do not survive, due to poor handling and lack of knowledge about their care. That’s why INL is supporting the initiative to train frontline officers in the handling of seized wildlife, led by IFAW and its local partners,” says Lisa Spratt, Head of Wildlife Trafficking in INL’s Global Programs and Policy Office.
To implement the CARE project locally, IFAW has partnered with the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) in Indonesia, the Jane Goodall Institute in Congo, and government officials in Guyana.