Runway To Extinction Report - Europe

The Europe chapter for the 2020 ROUTES Partnership and C4ADS report "Runway to Extinction: Wildlife Trafficking in the Air Transport Sector" which examines the trends, transit routes, and trafficking methods used by wildlife smugglers exploiting the aviation industry in six world regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania.

Main Takeaways: 

  • There is significant demand in Europe for live animals for the pet trade, including reptiles and birds.
  • European eel trafficking is prevalent and likely increasing due to Asian demand, threatening the survival of this critically endangered species.
  • Most recent mammal seizures in European airports have involved mammal products and derivatives, such as wolf skins, primate skulls, bear bile, and musk deer preputial glands.
  • Certain European countries with large, international airports, such as France and the Netherlands, often act as transit points for trafficked wildlife and wildlife products moving between source and demand regions in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
  • Several European countries had high seizure rates regardless of whether they were primarily origin, transit, or destination points, suggesting that certain customs and enforcement mechanisms can lead to wildlife seizures on departure and in transit, as well as on arrival.
  • Portugal was one of the main origin points for European eel smuggling attempts, but had one of the lowest seizure rates in Europe. Given the increasing prominence of European eel trafficking, Portuguese officials should try to inspect checked suitcases and air freight shipments on departure for signs of European eels, such as ice packs and plastic bags filled with water hidden in a large number of suitcases or containers.

application/pdf ROUTES_RunwayToExtinction_Europe.pdf — 3432 KB