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Don't make holiday souvenirs a bad memory
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We all know not to bring live wild animals back from our holidays. It's equally important not to bring dead ones either, with countless animals killed to make souvenirs. Boycotting these souvenirs is important, firstly because of their negative impact on biodiversity, and secondly because buying them can expose you to heavy fines.


CITES

Thousands of plant and animal species are protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna). Given the sheer density of protected species (over 800 non-tradable species and over 20,000 subject to regulations) the best way to avoid a lot of trouble at Customs is to bear in mind one or two simple rules.

Boycott

Never buy anything made from ivory, tortoise or turtle-shell or skin (whether from mammals or reptiles). Seashells, eggs, feathers and anything made from these must also be scratched off your list of souvenirs, as must coral jewellery (coral is an animal) and pinned butterflies and insects. Medicines sold in Asian countries which contain animal ingredients (tiger, rhino, bear, etc.) are not welcome either.

Plants too

Our planet is an indivisible whole; animals die when deprived of their natural environment. Hence exotic wood items and potted plants must not be purchased. As a responsible traveller, and out of respect for the countries you visit, please do not bring archaeological artefacts home with you either.

Strict penalties

The penalties facing offenders – heavy fines and legal proceedings – can often far exceed the cost of their holiday. Furthermore, some countries don't hesitate to arrest tourists before they board their flight home. Do you want your holiday souvenir to be a spell in a foreign jail?


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