Illegal Pet Trade

CCF’s work to shut down the illegal trade of cheetahs: a timeline

  • by Hannah Mulvany 13 April 2023
CCF’s work to shut down the illegal trade of cheetahs: a timeline

Our work to shut down the illegal trade started in 2005 and has changed and evolved since, responding to increased demand and new trade routes. Our current campaign is focused on making the world a better place for cheetahs by continuing our work in this area, with our aim being to shut down the trade once and for all.

2005: CCF began monitoring the illegal trade in cheetahs and assisting Ethiopia with placement of confiscated cubs. CCF became a founding member of Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT).

2006-present: CCF continues to monitor the illegal trade in cheetahs, presenting findings at key conferences and at Convention of Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Species (CITES).

2011: CCF assists Somaliland with placement of cheetah cubs confiscated from the illegal wildlife pet trade for the first time. These cubs are housed in sanctuaries in Ethiopia and Djibouti.

2018: The Somaliland government requests assistance from CCF on how to care for cheetahs confiscated in Somaliland.

2019: CCF Somaliland is registered as an NGO in Somaliland.

2019 – 2020: CCF establishes three Cheetah Safe Houses in Hargeisa, Somaliland with a well-equipped veterinary clinic and professional staff to house cheetah cubs confiscated from poachers and farmers. (continued below)

2004 to present: CITES tabled the issue of cheetah trafficking at the 13th Conference of the Parties (CoP13) held in Bangkok in 2004. Over the years, resolutions and decisions attempting to curb the trade were offered and accepted, with the majority of recommendations adopted at 66th Standing Committee as well as at CoP17 (2016). Many of these were erroneously erased at CoP18 (2019), based on partial trafficking data, but were re-adopted at COP19 (2022) through the work of CCF and partner NGOs and range countries’ efforts.

2019: CCF receives a 2.75 year-grant from DEFRA’s IWT Challenge Fund for the LICIT project to build capacity in wildlife trade law enforcement in the Horn of Africa. CCF partnered with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Legal Atlas (LA) to deliver training and support the establishment of national and regional wildlife enforcement networks in Ethiopia, Somaliland, Somalia and Yemen.

2021: CCF finished the Master Plan for its 800-hectare Cheetah Rescue & Conservation Centre (CRCC) on land the Somaliland government set aside to become its first national park (40,000 hectares).

2022: CCF receives a 3 year follow on grant from DEFRA for LICIT II to enhance national and regional capacity in the Horn of Africa to fight wildlife crime, building on the gains in LICIT. This will allow national enforcement agencies to work better together, and with neighbouring jurisdictions, to reduce IWT. Also, building community conservation governance will increase community capacity and ownership of wildlife resources, thereby tackling human wildlife conflict driving IWT.

Q1 2023: Ninety-two cheetahs, a leopard and caracal moved from the Safe Houses to the CRCC which provides natural environments for the animals, plus education and tourism opportunities, and hope for future generations.


Thanks to your support, we have achieved so much, but there is still so much more we need to do. With your help we can continue our invaluable work and to be a beacon of hope to the animals who have been deprived their natural life. If you want to learn more about our current campaign, click here, and please consider supporting our work by making a donation.

Share with friends