Authorities at Dubai Customs have foiled an attempt by smugglers to bring in 64 live falcons hidden in a truck carrying vegetables at the Hatta border crossing, according to a report by state-run WAM news agency.
“The illegitimate shipment, which violates the provisions of CITES ((the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), did not have any supporting or health documents under the Federal Law number 11 / 2002,” WAM said in its report.
The suspect container contained vegetables and the falcons were hidden behind the boxes of vegetables but inspectors at Dubai Customs were able to detect them and seize them.
Falcons are typically used to assist in hunting birds in the UAE and neighboring Gulf countries.
The seized falcons were handed over to the veterinary quarantine department of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment at the border crossing. Procedures will be taken following international treaties.
“Dubai Customs spares no efforts to protect all endangered animals and plants from the hazards of these rogue activities,” said Humaid Al Rasheed, Director of Land Customs Centres Management at Dubai Customs.
“To cross the borders, all animals have to have official documents; otherwise, they will be handed over to the ministry of Climate Change and Environment for further legal procedures,” he added.