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Feb 25, 2022

Prosecuting Animal Smugglers is Easier Said than Done

Unfortunately, B.A.H.A.’s Francisco Gutierrez says that when people do not follow the law on wildlife importation and it results in an outbreak of some kind, it is difficult to take court action. Because of this, B.A.H.A. is about to review the laws and propose ways to make them effective.


Francisco Gutierrez

Francisco Gutierrez, Acting Managing Director, B.A.H.A.

“When it comes to an infected animal being detected, it’s not very easy to be able to prosecute with the current legislation because in any case, even if you had that provision, it becomes extremely difficult to prove that it was done willingly. And, not catching them importing the animal legally can be challenging in court because they can say “Well I bought it from somebody, who bought it from somebody,” and then tracing origin of the animals becomes very complicated in a legal matter. The excuses will be never-ending. “I lost the receipt,” or “the parent animals died” or “the person is no longer here; I bought it from somebody who was living in the country and they left, they gave me the animal,” so pinning down the origin is – even when they know precisely what they may have done – is not easy, and in a court of law, they will throw it out.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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