SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Xinhua) --
The Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) plans to
supply sniffer dogs to all countries in Africa to help reduce
poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products.
Jia Qiao, advocacy
officer with AWF, said on Wednesday that the move follows a
successful detection role that the dogs have undertaken at
Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
“We plan to supply
the dogs bit by bit to all countries in Africa to help reduce
poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products,” Qiao told
Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the ongoing UN
Biodiversity Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Qiao said that AWF
recently dispatched a team of dogs to Entebbe International
Airport (EIA) to help Uganda stop animal products from passing
through the airport.
She revealed that
the wildlife agency has earmarked to dispatch the dogs to
Mozambique, Tanzania and Botswana while the consignment to
Cameroon will be delivered next year.
She said that AWF is
working together with wildlife authorities and trains dogs
specifically to detect wildlife products such as ivory, rhino
horn and pangolin scales that are often hidden in cargo or
At the JKIA, the
dogs have proven to be a deterrent to the would-be traffickers
since the canines that are purchased from breeders in Europe are
trained to detect hidden contraband.
The AWF team at JKIA
has detected 26 products since 2016 including wildlife products
such as live tortoise.
Ivory and rhino
horns that have been seized at ports in Africa have proven how
elephants and rhinos are being killed annually by illegal
Africa lacks capacity and trained personnel to inspect the
shipments that are destined to markets abroad,” Qiao noted.
Under the program,
AWF trains and deploys detection dogs in airports, sea ports and
border crossings to uncover illegal shipments of wildlife
The UN Biodiversity
Conference 2018 will be held from Nov. 13 to 29 in the Red Sea
resort city in Egypt, with the participation of representatives
from over 190 states.