Notification to the Parties

No. 781 Geneva, 10 March 1994



Ranching of and Trade in Caimans

1. Article 6 B of Brazilian Wildlife Law No. 5.197, of 3 November 1967, authorizes the establishment of breeding operations* for wild animals for commercial purposes. This activity is regulated by the Brazilian CITES Management Authority (IBAMA), through Resolutions (Portárias).

2. For information, the Secretariat is including herewith a copy of Resolution No. 126, issued on 13 February 1990, which establishes the conditions for registering ranching operations for the subspecies Caiman crocodilus crocodilus and Caiman crocodilus yacare.

3. To date, IBAMA has registered 75 ranching operations that produce skins of Caiman crocodilus crocodilus and Caiman crocodilus yacare. Some of them have already started to export.

All skins produced bear security tags of different colours. Each tag has a serial number of six digits, preceded by a letter and the official logo of IBAMA, in relief.

4. For information, the Secretariat is also including herewith a copy of Resolution No. 119-N of 17 November 1992, in which the conditions for the export of specimens by the ranching operations are described.

Amongst these conditions, the following should be noted:

- The minimum level of tanning of skins authorized for export is the "wet blue" process; the export of raw or salted skins is prohibited (Article 2). - Article 8 establishes that the trade in the above-mentioned subspecies will be authorized for skins of a minimum width of 18 cm. The size is measured at the widest part of the belly. However, the export of skins 15 to 18 cm wide will be authorized for up to 12% of the annual skin production. - Under Article 10, IBAMA will authorize, for a period of three years from the date of the above-mentioned Resolution, the trade in skins with osteoderms, only from those ranching operations registered in accordance with Resolution No. 132/88-P of 16 May 1988. IBAMA defines skins with osteoderms as those having bone deposits in the form of scales that are perceivable by touch or sight, and that make the skin rigid. - According to Article 11, once the period of three years has passed, trade will only be authorized in the skins that IBAMA calls "of integral utilization", which means skins without osteoderms except those of the nuchal hump (escudo nucal).

5. The Secretariat invites the Parties to take into consideration the above information before authorizing the import from Brazil of ranched specimens of caimans originating in Brazil and to inform IBAMA and/or the Secretariat of any attempt to import specimens not in conformity with the above requirements.

6. Finally, the CITES Management Authority of Brazil has informed the Secretariat that it has also registered captive-breeding operations for primates, birds and snakes, and that specimens of the following species are already available for export: Rhea americana, Callithrix geoffroyi, Callithrix penicillata and Callithrix jacchus*.