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Parliamentary questions
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21 April 2020
E-002393/2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Eleonora Evi
 Subject: Increase in rhinoceros poaching in South Africa and Botswana due to the introduction of restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic

The restrictions imposed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic are facilitating trafficking in rhinoceroses in Africa, particularly in South Africa and Botswana, where the number of rhinoceroses poached has increased exponentially in recent days following the introduction of measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Due to the serious impact of these measures on the tourism industry, the area's national parks are losing income which was needed to ensure adequate protection for their animals. Moreover, in the absence of tourists, poachers are able to operate over a larger area, including in places that used to be visited by many tourists.

Can the Commission therefore answer the following questions:

1. Will it approach the national authorities of the two above-mentioned States to offer them assistance in fighting poaching and protecting wild animals, which are already severely threatened?

2. What further measures will it take to combat trafficking in wildlife species at international level?

3. Will it, as a matter of urgency, propose a new EU Action Plan against trafficking in wildlife species, in view of the imminent expiry of that which is currently in force for the period 2016-2020?

Original language of question: IT
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