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The history of CITES: protection for endangered animals

In the world of terrarium animals and exotic pets, it is important to understand how legislation and enforcement have shaped the hobby. One of the main regulatory bodies for international trade in endangered animals is CITES. Let's dive into the history of CITES and the evolution of legislation and enforcement regarding CITES A and B animals.

What is CITES?

CITES stands for the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora," and is an international treaty that came into effect in 1975. The treaty aims to promote the conservation of endangered species of animals and plants by regulating international trade. CITES classifies plants and animals into three appendices, with Appendix I providing the strictest protection for species threatened with extinction.

The early history of CITES

The story of CITES began long before the treaty itself was signed. In the 20th century, the international trade in exotic animals and their body parts increased significantly. This included everything from jewelry made from ivory to the exotic pet trade. It became increasingly clear that regulation was necessary to prevent species from becoming extinct due to excessive trade.

The CITES conferences

Since CITES was established, regular conferences have been held to discuss changes to the appendices and rules. These meetings, known as the CITES Conferences of the Parties, bring together representatives of participating countries to vote on proposed changes. The outcome of these meetings has led to shifts in the classification of various species.

CITES A and B animals

CITES has divided animals and plants into three appendices based on the level of protection they require:

Appendix I: Species that are threatened with extinction and whose international trade is in principle prohibited. This includes, for example, most big cat species, many parrots and reptiles such as the saltwater crocodile.
Appendix II: Species that are not currently threatened with extinction, but whose trade needs to be regulated to prevent them from becoming endangered. This includes many reptiles that are often kept as exotic pets, such as several species of turtles.
Appendix III: Species for which individual countries wish to take specific protection measures.
The Role of Terrafile

Terrafile is an online platform designed to help owners of terrarium animals comply with the recordkeeping obligations that apply to CITES A and B animals. By understanding the history of legislation and enforcement surrounding these animals, owners can become aware of the importance of properly registering their animals.

Terrafile is committed to transparency and responsibility in the terrarium hobby, and it is essential to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to these animals. By understanding the history of CITES, we can all contribute to the conservation of endangered species and the responsible management of our exotic pets.

Over the years, CITES has had a major impact on the terrarium hobby and has helped conserve many valuable species. Understanding this history is vital for anyone involved in the care and conservation of exotic animals. Together we can continue to work towards a world in which the beautiful diversity of nature is preserved.

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