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06 July 2016

Collaborative efforts to combat the illegal trade in shahtoosh shawls

LYON, France – A workshop focusing on the illegal trade, processing and transit of shahtoosh products brought together scientists, investigators, customs, wildlife police officers at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters.

Trade in Tibetan antelopes and derived products has been prohibited since 1979 under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The aim of the two-day (30 June and 1 July) meeting was to encourage representatives from countries including China, Germany, India, Italy, Kuwait, Nepal, Pakistan, Spain and the UK to strengthen the international network to more effectively combat poaching of the Tibetan antelope and the transnational trade in shahtoosh products.

Key areas for discussion included:

  • Trafficking routes of products derived from the Tibetan antelope
  • Links between tiger crime and other illegal wildlife trade, and the illegal trade in shahtoosh products
  • Training in examining raw shahtoosh wool and how to distinguish it from cashmere or pashmina
  • The online trade and sale of illicit goods and wildlife
  • Sharing of knowledge, intelligence and investigation techniques
  • Establishing a process for more effective collaboration in combatting the illicit trade of shahtoosh products.

The meeting was organized by INTERPOL’s Wildlife Crime Working Group and the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, and funded by the European Commission through the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).