CITES: What Does it Mean to Aviculture!


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a worldwide treaty organization involving some 125 nations, is important to wildlife, people as well as to aviculture.

Commercial Purposes and Captive Breeding

The CITES Animals Committee, Chaired by Dr. Robert Jenkins from Australia, met in Pruhonic, Czech Republic in September 1996. The Chairman announced attendance was "awesome" it being the largest of any such meeting in the history of the Animals Committee. The full agenda included topics of interest to Aviculturists, such as:

• Review of Ranched Specimens

• Traffic in Captive-bred Specimens

• Transport of Live Animals

• Frequent, Cross-Border Movement of Privately Owned Animals

• Review of Trade on Live Exotic Animals and Plants

Forty-seven Non Government Organizations (NGO) were accepted as observers, along with 67 Members of the Committee and the Secretariat. The American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) was the only organization specifically representing aviculture. Individuals representing raptor interests (falconry) were also active participants.

Working Groups

Chairman Jenkins announced the formation of "Working Groups" to give attention to issues involving transport of live animals and to consider a report developed by Dr. Charles Dauphine, Working Group Chair, and a broad based Committee covering matters of "Captive Breeding" and "Commercial Purposes."

The Working Group dealing with "Captive Breeding" and "Commercial Purposes" was well attended by CITES members as well as a substantial numher of NGOs. A major subject of discussion was how any new rules would he applied to aviculture.

Only two participants appeared to have much, if any, real knowledge of aviculture, those being the NGO from U.S.A., representing the American Federation of Aviculture, the other the people representing the raptor interests.

Discussions were lively. Many points of view indicated the organizations represented were opposed to much if any change in existing CITES policies concerning Captive Breeding and/ or Commercial Purposes.

The Dauphine Report proposed the term "Bred in Captivity" should he interpreted to refer only to specimens horn or otherwise produced in a controlled environment, and shall apply only if;

"The parents mated or otherwise transferred garnets in a controlled environment, if reproduction is sexual or the parents were in a controlled environment."

Other requirements involved compliance with domestic laws of the respective countries and that the activity would not he detrimental to the species in the wild.

Commercial Purposes Defined The Working Group examined the Dauphine proposal and found a proposed definition of "Commercial Purposes" as follows:

"A specimen bred in captivity shall he considered as bred in captivity for commercial purposes if it was bred to obtain economic benefit, whether in cash...