By Richa Noriega
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) warned the public on Thursday against buying and selling wildlife through social media.
The department made the statement after operatives of the DENR and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized a juvenile bearded dragon worth over P8,000 which was found and reported by a shipping company in Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Based on the shipping manifest, the bearded dragon was sent from an online pet seller based overseas to the consignee who had no import permit on record.
The DENR said that authorities discovered that the bearded dragon had died during transport as it was shipped in a lidded plastic bowl without food, water, and appropriate padding inside the container.
DENR Executive Director in Central Luzon Paquito Moreno said that transporting and trading of wildlife without the necessary permit and proper documentation are prohibited under Republic Act No. 9147, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.
“Our citizens should obtain proper permits and not disregard the regulatory processes required in importing wildlife.” Moreno added.
The DENR has placed Clark and Subic Freeport Zones under tight watch as their strategic locations make them havens to smugglers attempting to transport wildlife from other counties and parts of the Philippines.
“We have tightened our watch on wildlife trafficking even during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in our airports and seaports in the region, since these are potential gateways for illegal wildlife trade,” Moreno added.
The DENR has seized a total of 311 species of reptiles, birds, and mammals since 2015.