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26 live falcons seized at Casablanca Airport, Morocco

Customs officials managed to foil the illegal export of 26 live falcons last week at Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport.

The Moroccan Customs Administration said in a statement that the falcons were transported without permission by a foreign national. It added that the raptors were hidden inside wooden crates arranged for this purpose.

The 26 birds seized were handed over to the Regional Directorate of the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD).

Live falcons seized at Casablanca Airport by Customs officials (Moroccan Customs Administration).
Live falcons seized at Casablanca Airport by Customs officials on 3 October 2019 (Moroccan Customs Administration).

The press release only mentioned that the species is protected but didn’t specify which falcon species was involved. In this regard, it’s worth reminding that all raptors are protected in Morocco. The specific law that deals with wildlife protection is called “Law No. 29-05 on the protection of wild flora and fauna and the control of their trade” (Loi n° 29-05 relative à la protection des espèces de flore et de faune sauvages, et au contrôle de leur commerce).

According to the Customs Administration, this exceptional capture highlights the wildlife trafficking between the continents and the necessity of close cooperation between the various control services to deal with it.

The press release recalls that, alongside other departments, the Customs Administration is entrusted with a mission of preserving the environment. Through its controls at the level of Morocco’s ports and airports, it ensures the application and respect of international conventions (such as the CITES Convention) recommending specific measures for the protection of endangered species of flora and fauna.

More about the illegal capture and trade in falcons:

  • Eight falcons seized by Tunisian customs near the Libyan border.
  • Over 100 wild-caught Lanner Falcons held in captivity in Libya (video).
  • Swedish Peregrine Falcon rescued from poachers in Morocco.
  • Rare falcons rescued from poachers in Morocco (a Peregrine ringed in Finland and a Saker Falcon).

See all articles about the illegal hunting and capture of wild birds.

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