Humane Society International Assists with Safe Wildlife Transport Conference in Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica (RPRN) 7/15/2009–Humane Society International is collaborating with the International Air Transport Association to conduct a three-day Central America regional conference on transportation of live animals. Participants include government officials from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The conference, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State, starts today.

Participants will be trained in the use and enforcement of IATA’s Live Animals Regulations.  The regulations include standards for shipping animals in a safe, humane and cost-effective manner. They are enforced by the European Union, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and generally meet or exceed the intent of the U.S. Animal Welfare Act. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the World Organization for Animal Health also officially recognize these regulations for the transport of animals.

The workshop brings together more than 30 representatives from CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, border and customs officials, as well as wildlife rescue facilities of the five countries. Some of the workshop highlights include:

  • Introduction to IATA Live Animal Regulations
  • Animal Classification & Nomenclature
  • Hygiene & Animal Health

The trade of wildlife and wildlife products causes the death and injury of many wild animals due to the use of inadequate handling and transportation methods. Wild animals are often transported in crates that are crushed during transport, without adequate ventilation, or appropriate temperatures.

“We hope that this workshop on transportation of wild animals will help the regional authorities transport confiscated wildlife adequately and humanely, promoting animal welfare and public health,” said Marta Prado, executive director of International Trade and Development for HSI.


  • IATA is an international trade body, created some 60 years ago by a group of airlines. Today, IATA represents some 230 airlines comprising 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic. The organization also represents, leads and serves the airline industry in general.
  • CITES recommends that all parties dealing with the preparation and transport of live animal specimens follow the instructions provided by IATA’s Live Animals Regulations and incorporate them in their national legislations.
  • Since entering into force in 1975, CITES is the only international agreement that regulates international trade in wild species. The treaty has been signed and ratified by 175 nations (parties).


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Humane Society International and its affiliate organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. HSI is creating a better future for animals and people through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at

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