the unusual seizure of the Civil Guard in Alicante




The Civil Guard, through the investigation team of the Alicante Nature Protection Service, has seized four legged african elephant that were being marketed fraudulently through the internet, whose sale amounted to 600 euros.

As detailed by the Armed Institute in a statement, the four elephant legs (Familia Elephantidae) are deposited in a precautionary manner in official dependencies at the disposal of the competent judicial authority.

The investigations, framed within the “Plan for Prevention and action against illegal trade in protected species” of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, began in November 2021. Two months later, it has been verified how the legs of this animal were being marketed, each converted into small stools.

The elephant is a highly protected species which is included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and in Annex A of Regulation (ce) No. 338/1997. For this reason, the possession and sale of species protected by international law require documentation proving their legality.

For all these reasons, two men of Spanish nationality, aged 39 and 67, respectively, are being investigated for a crime against flora and fauna, being able to incur in a crime typified in the Penal Code punished with prison sentences of six months to two years or a fine of eight to twenty-four months. Said penalty could be imposed in its upper half if it is a question of species or subspecies cataloged in danger of extinction.

Protected species

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) includes the African elephant as a species that has the highest degree of protection of protected species in order to improve its conservation and ensure the survival in the long term of both this species and others considered endangered species.

The illegal trade in parts of the African elephant, be it ivory or, in this case, its legs, has a serious impact on this species and therefore the legislation that governs the market of species included in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is intended to authorize its trade only in exceptional circumstances in order to favor its conservation.

The sale of endangered animals It is a trade that is on the rise and for this reason the members of the Nature Protection Service (seprona) of the Civil Guard have the mission of ensuring the survival of the species, trying to prevent the international trade of specimens from constituting a threat.

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