Dutch authorities seize shipment of Caimans from Guyana

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[www.inewsguyana.com]A shipment of Caimans, which departed Guyana on December 12 for Ukraine has been sized by the Dutch authorities in The Netherlands, for allegedly violating IATA Live Animal Regulations.

This is the second time that the Dutch authorities have seized such a shipment. The first time was on November 29, 2013, when a shipment of caimans departed Guyana destined for The Netherlands.

According to Guyana’s Wildlife Management Authority, upon arrival in The Netherlands, several caimans were found dead. The shipment was routed through Canada and Turkey. The Dutch Authorities determined that the animals had not been transported in accordance with the IATA Live Animal Regulations. They noted that ventilation was not adequate for the caimans, the caimans were transported “too cold” and that the packing density outlined by the IATA Live Animal Regulations was not adhered to.

Meanwhile, as it relates to the December 12 shipment, the Wildlife Management Authority has requested that the Dutch Authorities provide further information on the specific violations pertaining to this shipment and is awaiting a response.

It was noted that the general container requirements (Live Animal Regulations, 2011, pp. 278-280) indicate that the dimensions of inner enclosures and/or outer enclosures must be related to the actual size of the specimens being transported.

In general, the container must allow the animal to lie in a natural manner with enough space so that stacking does not take place. Further, the height of the container should allow air flow over the animals but must also prevent stacking.

With regard to ventilation and temperature, it was noted that reptiles are cold blooded and have lower oxygen requirements than birds and mammals. “Therefore, the ventilation and the size of the ventilation openings would be dependent on the ambient temperature. Shipments that are exposed to cold climates will require fewer ventilation openings than shipments that are exposed to hot climates.  The ventilation openings must be small enough to prevent the escape of the animals and meshed openings must be added to the outer container to prevent the possible blockage of inner ventilation holes by the outer container. To protect the animals from extreme temperatures, insulated or lined containers are recommended,” Guyana’s Wildlife Authority stated.

As such, the Wildlife Management Authority therefore will be seeking to undertake the following:

1.        Training of the inspecting officers on the IATA Live Animal Regulations.

2.        Development of clearer guidelines by the WMA within the parameters laid out by the IATA Live Animal Regulations to avoid accusations of subjectivity on the part of inspecting officers.

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