Exhibition of protected animals and plants

The Slovenian Customs and Environmental Agency together with Ljubljana Airport have organised an exhibition of animals and plants protected by CITES Convention and seized by the Customs in recent years.

Passengers, while waiting for boarding, can examine numerous protected animals and plants exhibited in showcases and on information panels on the ground and the first floor of the main airport building. Stuffed crocodiles, turtles, snake skins, snakes in alcohol, big cats fur, rhinoceros's horn, which is the most valuable specimen exhibited, cactuses, products made of ivory, etc., are on display. All specimens are protected by international CITES Convention.   The Convention protects 34 thousand endangered animal and plant species (live specimens, their parts or products made of them). The panels also include information on the Convention, instructions for passengers, what and under which conditions is allowed to bring into the EU and which species are protected.

At the opening of the exhibition, Rajko Skubic, Director-General of the Slovenian Customs Administration, stated that the customs officers make checks whether specimen are protected and whether they are accompanied by appropriate proper documents on import, export and transit. The Environmental Agency helps them with their work. In the period 20042009 the customs officer detected 156 violations of the Convention and seized 2851 specimens, the majority of them at the Airport Ljubljana Office. In the first three months of 2010 there were four specimen seized. However, the reducing number of such seizures shows that passengers are well informed of the regulations. That is the credit both of the Customs Administration and the Environmental Agency. They frequently organise presentations and exhibitions for public in order to send message that care for the environment and nature is our common task. When buying souvenirs abroad one has to be extremely careful not to buy a protected specimen.

In international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora there are huge amounts of money in question. According to the World Customs Organisation, the trade is worth several hundred billion dollars, 20 billion alone in trading in CITES specimens. On 23 April this year, it has been 10 years since the Convention entered into force in Slovenia.

Please note the attacher pictures (source: Customs Administration of the Republic of Slovenia)

Zgornji Brnik, 23 April