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Mexico cracking down on sale of protected animals online

Cancun, Q.R. – The Department of Ecology is exploring the sale of protected animals online. They have found numerous social media and Internet web pages that continue to illegally sell protected species ranging from dogs to lions to sea turtles.

The sale of such species violates the laws and regulations on animal protection. Although authorities have found where these species are coming from, the sellers are hard to find.

Liane Ake Canto, director of Energy and Environment, has confirmed four cases of protected species being sold online. She reports that in this case, it was brought to their attention that turtles were being offered for sale on Facebook, but they have not been successful in confiscating the protected animals.

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“We have gone to the homes that have been reported to us but the people are never there. Once, someone reported turtles but we could not get inside the home to do anything because there are laws that protect people,” she explained.

The most recent case was that of a lion cub that was offered for sale for $28,000 US dollars in the Facebook group Dogs Breed: Playa del Carmen.

“We can take the complaint, take the Facebook page information and pass it along to Profepa, but we cannot seize the lion cub because it is a protected species and is regulated by Profepa. However what we have done is we sent an email to Facebook to have that page terminated,” she said.

She expressed her regret that there is not a lot they can do at combatting the sale of protected species on the Internet, but says that the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) does act and often catches sellers red-handed.

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She also says that “Unfortunately these people are providing irregular sales of these species. The same people who reported to us have been refused sales. As Environment Directorate, I ask that citizens not try to help with this because the species could be stolen and driven underground where it will only promote the black market.”

Ake Canto explains that even those selling dogs online, which is common in social media networks, must register with the city council to ensure the legal origin. This mandatory registration is in accordance with the Regulation of Animal Protection and Welfare for the Municipality of Solidaridad.

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