NEWS: United Nations Official Presides Over Black Market

June 12, 2006:  The 'Senior Enforcement Officer' for the United Nations CITES Secretariat in Geneva, Mr. John Sellar, informed U.C.R. that the United Arab Emirates has issued somewhere "between 20,000 to 30,000 'Falcon Passports' for falcons held captive in the U.A.E." 

Mr. Sellar indicated that the majority of these falcons are of illegal origin - i.e. black market birds that were smuggled from China and former Soviet territories including Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

Sellar also explained that even though he was responsible for implementing the system at work in the Gulf, the only way that U.C.R. can retrieve the full details and current numbers of illegal falcons that have been issued CITES "falcon passports", is to ask the offending countries how many falcons their political leaders have smuggled and subsequently covered with "passports".

Mr. Sellar is currently listed as # 31 in the "Merchants of Extinction"

If only half of the trained falcons now covered with "falcon passports" were to hunt and kill just one Houbara Bustard, the detrimental effect on bustards would be lethal because Houbara bustards are already listed by the United Nations CITES as a "Schedule I Endangered" species.  Also consider that nobody outside of the Middle East, knows how many hunting falcons have been issued "falcon passports" in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain. 

Conclusion: "Falcon passports" are guaranteeing the extinction of wild Houbara Bustards.

Middle East interests are now proposing "Falcon Passports" to be allowed by U.S. law.