TITLE

Seizures of inconvenience? Policy, discretion and accidental discoveries in policing the illegal wildlife trade at the Norwegian border

AUTHOR(S)
Runhovde, Siv
PUB. DATE
October 2015
SOURCE
Crime, Law & Social Change;Oct2015, Vol. 64 Issue 2/3, p177
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The illegal wildlife trade is among the fastest growing categories of transnational crime and is increasingly characterized as a problem by law enforcement authorities internationally and in Norway. This article examines the policing of illegal trade in wildlife at the Norwegian border. Wildlife trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Observations and interviews with Norwegian customs inspectors show that the detection of wildlife is not a priority when inspectors make risk assessments of control objects. I argue that this is largely because the Norwegian Customs and Excise's organizational strategies and distribution of resources are directed towards other flows of illegal goods at the expense of wildlife. The considerable professional discretion the inspectors are allowed to exercise does not promote the enforcement of CITES. The inspectors see such cases as complicated, time consuming and unrewarding in terms of penalties upon prosecution. Seizures of wildlife are often accidental rather than planned. The findings indicate a need to reinforce and fully implement existing legislation on illegal wildlife trade at both the policy and on-site levels.
ACCESSION #
111555391

 

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