Agriculture Minister issues stern warning, illegal wildlife trade will not be tolerated


Agriculture Minister issues stern warning, illegal wildlife trade will not be tolerated

Almost thirty-three (33) exotic birds, three (3) caimans and a juvenile jaguar were seized in an abandoned campsite in North West Trinidad. On Wednesday, 31st May 2023, Game Wardens proceeded to the location in Diego Martin following an anonymous tip.

The Central Game Warden Unit was accompanied by members of the Central Division Task Force North Unit of the TTPS. Several Honorary Game Wardens were also part of the exercise, which lasted almost five hours.

During the execution of the search warrant, the team discovered the animals in several cages. Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, commended the Unit, the members of the Honorary Game Warden Programme and the TTPS on the find.

Minister Hosein once again reminds the nation that the illegal wildlife trade will not be tolerated.”I am sending a stern warning that the illegal wildlife trade will not be tolerated. We have taken steps to strengthen the Game Warden Unit to protect our wildlife. Our agencies will continue working with other law enforcement arms to ensure that the illegal wildlife trade ends. However, as alluring as the exotic animals might be, I implore citizens to be cautious. These animals might bring diseases and viral infections into the shores, which may have disastrous environmental effects.”

The Conservator of Forests, Mr Denny Dipchansingh, praised the Unit for their diligent work.”We continue to follow all leads to tackle this illegal trade. Unfortunately, the animals were found in undersized cages and in undesirable conditions. We must work together to combat this problem.”

Mr Dipchansingh revealed that an arrest was imminent.

In January 2023, 396 Honorary Game Wardens were officially appointed via Gazette as outlined in the Conservation of Wildlife Act.

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