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Dogs to help sniff out smuggling

In an attempt to stop wild animal smuggling through Bole International Airport, The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) plans to deploy four detection dogs.
The dogs will come from Holland and will be trained to sniff and to catch rhinoceros horns, pangolin scales and ivory tusks at the airport’s custom security gates.
EWCA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Airport Enterprise, Federal Police, Custom Office and Information Network Security Agency so they can work together to get the dogs here faster.
Sponsorship by the Africa Wildlife Conservation (AWF) made it possible to purchase the dogs. Six Ethiopians will be trained in Tanzania to handle the dogs.
Bole International Airport has been identified as a major transit hub for wildlife trafficking, which was clearly evidenced in the recent report of Wildlife Crime.
Between 2011 and 2015, more than 700 people were arrested in connection with illegal ivory trafficking. A majority of those arrested at BIA were transit passengers with a sizeable number of passengers picking Ethiopia as their first departure location. An analysis of the origins of the flights from which ivory and wildlife products were detected at BIA in Ethiopia shows that flights from Nigeria and Angola took the largest share 20.45 percent and 19 percent of arrests respectively followed by DR Congo 8.99 percent Equatorial Guinea 8.82 percent , Ghana 6 percent and Congo Brazzaville 5.5 percent. However, the origins of the ivory tusks are not known and therefore subject to speculation.
Daniel Pawlos, EWCA Wild Life Traffic Director told Capital that the sniffing dogs will help Ethiopia combat illegal wildlife trafficking.
“It is a shame to see such a huge volume of wildlife trafficking in our country, we have an institution to combat this so we need to do something and getting dogs that can sniff out wild animal parts is a first step,” Daniel told Capital that the cost has not yet been determined.
Elephants, lions, tigers and rhinoceros are targets of illegal hunting and trafficking in Ethiopia and the demand for lions’ bone for traditional medicine is exacerbating illegal lion hunting.
The illegal trade of wildlife is the fourth most lucrative black market in the world – worth around USD 20 billion a year and impacting more than 7,000 species of animals and plants. Criminal organizations involved in wildlife trafficking are often directly connected to other trafficking networks, including the smuggling of narcotics, arms and people and exploit the increasing connectivity of global air transportation to traffic the endangered species. The air cargo industry is one of the key aviation sectors acting to break the supply chain from source to consumer.


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