Saint Lucia’s Forestry Department is concerned about illegal wildlife exports from this country, Wildlife Officer, Pius Haynes, has disclosed.
“Illegal wildlife trading is third to the illegal drugs trade and the illegal trading of weapons,” Haynes told the MBC Television programme – Police Insight on Monday night.
He explained that the trade in wildlife is a multi-billion dollar industry globally.
According to the wildlife official, within the Eastern Caribbean, Saint Lucia has a high number of flora and fauna that belong here exclusively.
He explained that if they are found elsewhere in the world, it means that they ere exported.
“We have those threatened species and people look for them – they are sought after,” Haynes stated.
But he noted that because the local authorities are unable to police the Island’s borders, especially in the North East Coast, it is easy for the illegal trade to continue.
“Some of the tourists who visit our shores – sometimes the guys come and tell them ‘You know, I have this thing to sell,’ and some who like it might very well take it. Others who are discreet might say ‘No’ and they might inform us,” Haynes stated.
“It is something we are very concerned about,” the wildlife official disclosed.
He said that Saint Lucia is getting help from several international organisations in a bid to address the problem.