LONDON: More endangered animal items have been seized in the year up to April 2013 than any other year the Home office has announced.
690 items were seized in total – an increase of 181 on the previous year – including live big cats and tortoises. The Home Office also confiscated hippo teeth, ivory and an alligator skin upholstered Rolls Royce. Nearly 4,000kg of medicine and over 300 items containing ivory were confiscated.
Earlier this year WWF ambassador Deborah Meaden visited the UK Border Force at Heathrow airport to see the sheer quantity of the illegal wildlife.
Whilst at the border agency, Deborah discovered that many seizures involve items ‘in transit’ to the Far East, being shipped from Africa via Heathrow. Rhino horn for instance – is often seized on its way to countries that have a high demand for it as a hangover cure.