According to the section F of Article 437 of the Criminal Code, it is prohibited to traffic wild animals and may be a crime punishable by one to three years in prison.
However, it has been very difficult for the Unit for the Protection of the Environment (UPE,) to enforce the law, because it has only 161 soldiers, one of the police units with less staff and budget (less than $ 300 thousand per year.)
In Guayas, the UPE has allocated only fifteen policemen, which are distributed according to emergency calls to the number 604-2167 or 9-11.
William Herrera, head of the UPE in Guayas, ensures that the violation of this ordinance is due to the ignorance of some people about the laws and the environmental consequences.
Most lawsuits are against people who keep the animals as pet, like birds, monkeys, turtles, iguanas and even ocelots. The capture of mammals (deer, guantas , monkeys , peccaries …) to market their meat is also denounced.