Attempt to smuggle live animals thwarted – ERA investigating

Seized Insects

The Environment and Resources Authority’s (ERA) Compliance and Enforcement Directorate confirmed that is currently working in conjunction with the Malta Customs and the Plant Health Directorate to investigate a smuggling attempt of a consignment of live wild animals.

Live animals and insects being smuggled illegally in Malta from Sicily were seized by officials this week on Tuesday 21st January. Maltese nationals were involved.

The live animals included 6 tortoises; a frog; and several invertebrates, namely spiders; dragonfly larvae; caterpillars, and a water beetle concealed in jars and boxes.

These were identified as being of species whose importation and possession is restricted by virtue of International law, European Community law and domestic legislation.

Also, it was determined that the species in question presented a threat to Malta’s biological identity.