The U.S. Regional Environment Office (REO) for East Africa, working with U.S. Missions in the region, has begun a multi-pronged campaign focused on combating the illegal trade in cheetahs. REO partnered with CCF on the first step of the campaign, to print and distribute posters featuring photographs of cheetahs with messages discouraging participation in this illegal trade. U.S. Missions are working with government wildlife authorities, NGOs, and the private sector to place the posters in public venues in East Africa and the Middle East to help raise awareness about the negative impacts of the illegal wildlife trade.
The REO is sharing the posters with CCF along with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and cheetah stakeholders and making them available for download.
Trade in live cheetahs and parts is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Nevertheless, cheetah cubs are often taken from the wild for the exotic pet trade and cheetah skins are marketed to international tourists as antique souvenirs. Exotic pet owners may not realize the harmful means by which their animals have been procured, or the fact that these are wild animals and can potentially harm people. In addition, tourists who purchase wildlife products may face arrest by customs authorities at airports. Educating the public with visually interesting posters will help prevent illegal cheetah purchases from happening and hopefully drive down the market demand that puts majestic animals at risk.
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