Mexico Bans the Import, Export and Re-Export of Marine Mammals and Primates
Mexico City, Mexico (January 27, 2006) - Today Mexico's Official Diary of the Federation published the final Decree by which Mexico institutes a ban on the import, export, and re-export of marine mammals and primates for commercial purposes. The ban also prevents the live capture of primates except under special circumstances.
This ban took three years of hard work by our friends and colleagues at COMARINO (Conservation of Marine Mammals in Mexico), Dr. Yolanda Alaniz and Laura Rojas. Biologist Diego Cobo Terrazas, former President of the Environmental Commission of the Chamber of Representatives introduced the bill in 2003. The bill passed through Mexico's Lower Chamber but stalled in the Senate due to intense lobbying efforts by the captive industry. It took years of relentless persistence to push the bill's passage in the Senate.
On January 26th, President Vincent Fox signed the decree into law.
Thanks to the efforts of dedicated animal advocates, the lives of many thousands of animals have been saved. AWI has sent letters of thanks to Senor Cobo and President Fox. Dr. Alaniz and COMARINO are celebrated in the upcoming AWI Quarterly.
Translation of Decree
VICENTE FOX QUESADA, President of the Mexican United States, makes inhabitants known that:
The Honorable Congress of the Union, has served to direct to me the following DECREE:
THE GENERAL CONGRESS OF THE MEXICAN UNITED STATES, DECREES: AN ARTICLE BE ADDED TO THE GENERAL LAW OF WILDLIFE
Article 55: Prohibits the importation, exportation and re-exportation of specimens of any species of marine mammal and primate, as well as parts and derivatives, with the exception of those destined for scientific investigation, subject to the authorization of the Office of the Secretary.
Article 60: No specimen of any species of primate will be able to be subject of removal from the wild, either for subsistence or commercial purposes. Capture would only be authorized for activities of restoration, repopulation and for purposes of species reintroduction in their natural habitat.