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21 April 2009 - Media release

INTERPOL receives award in recognition of activities to combat wildlife and environmental crime

LYON, France – The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) today presented INTERPOL with its Heroes for Animals award - the first time an international organization has received the honour which recognizes individuals or organizations for their efforts to protect wildlife.

A registered charity, the HSC has worked closely with INTERPOL in a range of areas including the provision of financial support to train wildlife officers in developing nations and expertise to transnational investigations to identify and arrest wildlife traffickers.

Other co-operation includes the creation of a fund to help provide support to the families of park rangers killed by poachers, with more than 100 officers murdered around the world each year.

“As a core function of INTERPOL, no one else has the specialized infrastructure, expertise and dedication to effectively crackdown on global organized crime that harms people, animals and the environment,” said HSC’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Michael O’Sullivan presenting the award at the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon, France.

“We need to redouble our efforts to engage the international community at every level and indeed people from all walks of life to do whatever we can to support INTERPOL’s vital mission to safeguard the future of our planet the only place we can truly call home.

“The Humane Society of Canada bestows our Heroes for Animals Award in recognition of the tireless efforts of INTERPOL to combat wildlife traffickers and environmental outlaws worldwide,” concluded Mr O’Sullivan.

Accepting the award on behalf of INTERPOL, Executive Director for Police Services, Jean-Michel Louboutin said that the honour recognised the work of law enforcement officers in each of INTERPOL’s 187 member countries.

“Those officers dealing with wildlife and environmental crime are very much in the frontline against organized criminal gangs and play an important role in safeguarding society from a threat which can all too often be underestimated,” said Mr Louboutin.

“It is a privilege for INTERPOL to be presented with this award, particularly as the first international organization, and we look forward to continued co-operation with the Humane Society of Canada to build on the strong results we have already achieved.”