(Bangkok, 12 July 2013) Between August 8 and August 22, 2012, government agencies from Asia and the United States participated in a global operation that aims to disrupt the widespread trading of protected wildlife and wildlife parts through the internet. Operation Wild Web joined the efforts of service special agents and conservation officers from the United States, lead by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with counterpart task forces and officers from Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, in the ASEAN region.
Operation Wild Web resulted in 154 “buy/busts” in the United States, involving 30 Federal wildlife crimes and 124 violations of State wildlife laws. Coordination of the operation in ASEAN-WEN has also exposed online trafficking of live protected birds and tiger and leopard skins in Southeast Asia. Wildlife and wildlife products seized during Operation Wild Web included the pelts of endangered big cats such as Sumatran tiger, leopard and jaguar; live migratory birds; sea turtle shells and sea turtle skin boots; whale teeth; elephant ivory; migratory bird mounts; walrus ivory; and other items.
Participating and supporting government agencies in Southeast Asia include Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry and National Police, Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), and Thailand’s Royal Thai Police and Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP). The Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and FREELAND Foundation also provided assistance during the operation.
In support of the Operation Wild Web, Myanmar also reported having confiscated in 4 separate incidents the following wildlife and wildlife products: 7 alive hill mynas; 74 alive parakeets; and fresh and dried sambar meat. Actions have been taken against offenders under the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law. Participating agencies included the Alaungdaw Katthapa National Park, the Region Forest Department, the Myanmar Police Force, the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Wildlife Police Force.
Additional read and photographs of seizures available at fws.gov (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
For more information, please contact:
ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network
Program Coordination Unit
Tel: +66-(0)2-940 6286