Trade in Small-Clawed Otters, Popular as Pets in Japan, to Be Banned

Politics Society

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--A panel under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, Monday voted to ban in principle the import and export of small-clawed otters, which are increasingly popular as pets in Japan, according to the Japanese Environment Ministry.

The decision at the panel meeting in Geneva is expected to be formally approved at a plenary meeting of the members of the treaty, also known as the Washington Convention, on Wednesday.

The embargo on the otter species, proposed by India, Nepal and the Philippines, would then be implemented three months later.

Indonesia, a large exporter of the otters, opposed the motion, claiming that the species is not necessarily highly endangered. Japan stood with Indonesia.

Currently, commercial trade in small-clawed otters is conducted on condition of exporters' permission.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press