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The protection and preservation of animal and plant species along with their natural habitat are urgent and important tasks today. In the international context, the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office makes its contribution as enforcing authority of the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" (CITES) and the "International Whaling Convention" (IWC).
Conference of the CITES Parties 2013: International trade in fauna and flora: Switzerland's commitments extend far beyond its borders
Along with destruction of natural habitats, national consumption and many other factors, international trade is a major cause of endangerment to wild species of fauna and flora.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a trade agreement which is aimed at achieving sustainable use of the world's fauna and flora and which has been signed by over 160 nations worldwide. The convention, also known as the Washington species protection convention, is intended to ensure that species which are or could be at risk through extensive international trade are only traded to the extent permitted by their natural stocks. Any crossing of national borders is defined by CITES as trade.
The species protected by CITES are classified into three levels of protection according to the degree of risk: CITES Appendices I - III. This means that the export and import of live examples of species or products of these species are either completely forbidden or only possible with a permit.
The Federal Veterinary Office (FVO) also contributes to the preservation and sustainable use of whales as enforcing authority of the International Whaling Convention (IWC).
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