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Brazilmax.com – Brazil Bus Travel Company Joins Campaign to Stop Illegal Animal Traffic

on March 3 | in FIQUE POR DENTRO, Renctas na Mídia | by | with No Comments

by Bill Hinchberger

The Itapemirim Group, a leading Brazilian interurban bus company, has launched an unprecedented campaign to educate its employees and passengers about the widespread illegal traffic in wildlife poached from the country’s forests and rural areas. The new effort augments preexisting anti-traffic efforts spearheaded by the Brasília-based non-profit National Network to Fight the Trafficking of Wild Animals (RENCTAS). Citizens, especially travelers, can help by using the RENCTAS online hotline to report suspicious activity.

São Paulo – The Itapemirim Group, a leading Brazilian interurban bus company, has launched an unprecedented campaign to educate its employees and passengers about the widespread illegal traffic in wildlife poached from the country’s forests and rural areas.

“When I learned that most of the trafficking is done along the highways, I thought that we as a company could do something to help prevent it,” said Director Andréa Cola.

This new effort augments preexisting an anti-traffic campaign spearheaded by the Brasília-based non-profit National Network to Fight the Trafficking of Wild Animals (RENCTAS). Citizens, especially travelers, can help by using the RENCTAS online hotline to report suspicious activity.

The company will include instruction about trafficking in its employee training programs, highlight the issue in internal company media, and alert passengers via its on-board magazine. The company has 16,000 employees on its payroll. Every year, six million passengers ride Itapemirim’s 2,000 buses en route to more than 2,000 towns and cities. “We go to places that no other media reaches,” said Cola. “Places where only buses go.”

The firm will also produce advertising and promotional materials highlighting the issue. The advertising agency Giovanni/FCB is offering its services on a pro-bono basis to the campaign.

Itapemirim is coordinating its effort with RENCTAS. According to RENCTAS, wildlife trafficking ranks third – after arms and drugs – among illegal global businesses. In Brazil alone, it is worth an estimated $2 billion a year.

Only one in 10 poached animals survives, the group estimates. Of those, 60% remain in Brazil and 40% are exported. “There are a number of trafficking networks operating across the country’s highways, through which animals may travel up to 5,000 kilometers,” stated a 2001 RENCTAS report. Middlemen include “truck and bus drivers,” according to that same report.

There have been isolated cases of passengers caught illegally transporting animals in their baggage on the Itapemirim’s buses, said Cola. However, no employees are suspected of involvement, she added.

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