Illegal flight

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

NEW ZEALAND has become a major transit point for traffickers dealing in Australian birds captured illegally from the wild. According to a report from TRAFFIC Oceania, which monitors wildlife trade in the region, traffickers smuggle eggs and birds into New Zeal4nd and export them to Europe, Asia and the US. Under New Zealand's Trade in Endangered Species Act, captive bred birds can be legally exported. Exporters can easily get away by signing a declaration saying that a bird was bred in captivity in the country.

The department of conservation cannot take any punitive action unless it proves the declaration wrong. They cannot do so because they are not allowed to do @NA tests to determine a bir&.s parentage. Besides, there are no records of the numbers, species or breeding status of birds that are being bred in captivity in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, illegal trade in rare birds is booming. According to TRAFFIC, a pair of glossy blhck cockatoos can fetch more than us $50,000 in the us. It is urging New Zealand to amend its law to allow DNA testing and to start a register of rare species of birds.

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