Reptiles-As Pets or on a Plate?

CITES COP 13, Bangkok, Thailand, October 2-14, 2004

Important reptile proposals will be considered in Bangkok. Kenya is proposing to list two of its resident species: the Mt. Kenya bush viper and the Kenya horned viper, both of which are collected for international trade, including to the U.S.

The U.S., to its credit, has authored or co-authored with Indonesia proposals to list a number of Asian freshwater turtles on Appendix II. The Malayan snail-eating turtle, Malayan flat-shelled turtle, Southeast Asian softshell turtle, pig-nosed turtle, and Roti snake-necked turtle are among the turtle species that are traded internationally for Asian food markets and the pet trade. As a result of their rarity, some of these animals can fetch thousands of dollars in the international pet trade.

While Cuba finally has abandoned, at least for this meeting, its misguided effort to reopen trade in hawksbill sea turtles, the small island nation is instead proposing to weaken protection for the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).

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