Huzzah! Another step in the right direction!
CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals, and as of yesterday, in a meeting in Geneva, over 100 countries have voted to ban the trade in the smooth-coated otters and officially placing the otters onto the CITES most endangered list.
Story via France 24
With a whopping 102 votes in favor of the ban, 15 against and 11 absent.
This is wonderful news for the smooth-coated otter!
According to ecologists, it is vital for the survival of the species which has wildly plummeted by 30% in the past 30 years. And is it said to have accelerated due to Japan's hot fad of keeping the otters as pets.
Japan has also been offering baby otters for Otter Cafes for up to $10,000.
And while popular Instagrammers posting these selfies with the otters seem to warm the hearts of many, animal protection groups say this trend is posting a 'existential threat' to the silky mammal.
Nicole Duplaix, who co-chairs the Otter Specialist Group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, told AFP, "The illegal trade in otters has suddenly increased exponentially."
The CITES vote on Sunday must still be confirmed at the meeting which continues until Wednesday.
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