Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Botswana calls for shoot-to-kill policy to deal with rhino poachers

The Deputy Speaker of the Botswana Parliament, Pono Moatlhodi, has called for the immediate introduction of a shoot to kill policy to tackle poachers targeting rhino and elephants in the country. His call for a new tougher stance against the poachers comes just days after Mozambique declared that the Limpopo National Park lost its last 15 rhino to the poachers. With the rising demand for rhino horn and elephant ivory from China and Vietnam there is the real fear that the loss of rhino from the Limpopo National Park could just be the first in a line of national parks that will lose their populations. Moatlhodi said that introducing the shoot-to-kill policy is essential to protect both the rhinos and the tourist trade of the country. Protecting the wildlife that the tourists come to see is essential if the country is to widen the strength of the economy and move beyond just being a diamond producing nation. He said that there are particular concerns for the rhinos and elephants of the Kasane region in the north of Botswana which is particularly popular with tourists. While the Botswana army has been deployed to patrol areas with high incidents of poaching particularly along the borders with Zambia and Namibia, Moatlhodi believes that giving permission to rangers, soldiers and police to shoot to kill while out on duty they will be much more effective at tackling the poachers. Saving the high profile species of elephants, rhino and gorillas will ensure that the growing tourism industry in the country has a long-term future. Source: Online

18 comments:

  1. Hope they do it soon - all of Africa should adopt the policy!!

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  2. Cannot agree with the shoot to kill policy, I find it totally inconsistent argument to be a conservationist and care about one-being (elephant/rhino) and abstainer of violence towards animals and to be a proponent for death - whether that be the death penalty or shoot-to-kill. Armed anti-poaching para-militrary yes - shoot in the field if fired upon. Shoot to kill, no, it breeds resentment. Justice needs to be done and needs to be seen to be done.

    I think part of the problem is the utter failure of the human species to think beyond killing as an antidote to everything. So, here is a scenario, a man is part of a gang commissioned by ivory traders to kill elephants and take ivory for the illegal trade. He has lived in the bush with his family all his life, he is promised a 'cut'. There is risk involved, he is armed and sent out on an Ivory mission and on the way or immediately after - he and his gang are caught. They are lined up, guns put to their heads and shot, it's out bush, the only people who know what happened are the executioners, in this case - government or parastatal employees and the families of the men learn about it - are they not outraged, resentful and disengaged from any sense of justice with the Nation that could do this to its own citizens? Do they then not become anti-nationals, no longer engaged in solutions for their community or long term health of the social fabric of the nation? Is the killing by bullet at point of capture, then not Murder? On the other hand, the same gang is caught on the way to or immediately following a killing of elephants, they are taken into custody (maybe one or two are injured or killed in a fire-fight at the time because they fired back, maybe a law enforcement officer is killed or injured - this happens in all other anti-criminal activity it is a risk of the job) it is paramount that the LAW and JUSTICE system working together prosecute the criminals. The man mentioned above, has turned state witness and dobs in the middleman, law enforcement officials arrest the middle man.... JUSTICE is meted out and gaol (jail) time to all offenders including the state-witness according to the (stringent anti-poaching) law is handed down. Life in gaol is tough and let's say a mandatory 5-10 years is the sentence, non-parole. That is justice. You or me, or others may not think it is, deterrent is not the only point here, punishment and (i know this is not what happens...) rehabilitation. Had everyone been summarily executed at the time of the incident - no further information could be gained from the poachers. Detterent? Shut down the TRADE make it financially unviable to kill elephants. Call me a dreamer, or say "Get into the real world" the real world is full of hate, violence and more violence is not the answer. Recruit and pay wanna-be-poachers or actual poachers to be anti-poaching personell, train, equip and run stringent regular anti-poaching patrols, well armed, disciplined and trained from the AEAP funds (African Elephant Action Plan - where is THE MONEY Member States of CITES?)

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    1. I think you live on another planet

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    2. There is no better justice than to give what you received back.Poachers should be skinned alive and from they`re skin made some clothes , they`re bones ripped from they`re body than put the bones on a wall and write under - Poacher , killed with 9mm in the head and skinned alive while screaming. I would be very happy to kill poachers just for the reason that they torture,kill,dishonor every animal they kill until extinction and they don`t give a s.it about anybody else just about them.Eye for an eye - this is the best law that existed,exist and will exist in the world.Period.

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    3. TOTALLY agree with you Aquilla S. A life for a life. They should get the EXACT same treatment that they cruelly inflict on our poor wildlife. The ONLY punishment in my eyes & hopefully, it will be a deterent because god knows something MUST be done to deter these murdering, evil, money grabbing bas**rds......

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    4. Dawn Marks - i certainly wish I did live on another planet, as do most who support the shoot-to-kill policy, no doubt. Fact remains not everyone in conservation agrees with the shoot-to-kill policy. It will happen, elephants and the last few rhinos may be saved, but i doubt it will be as a result of shooting to kill those on the ground.

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    5. Give any elephant or rhino a gun and yo will see, they shoot any poacher arond them.....

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  3. It is great intention which is the reason for such drastic measures no doubt. We need to approach this from all angles possible. I can fully agree with Elephant E-ctivism given the background of such poaching. As they feel, one needs to get to the root of the event. When we kill the poacher, it may seem like poetic justice. But life is not just poetic. We should take a pragmatic look at this.

    The proceeds go not only to the actual killers, but a major chunk goes also to people who never ever set their foot in the bush. Like Elephant E-ctivism say above, the information is buried along with the poachers who have risked their entire life for a few dollars. The family which is already in dire straits will only be plunged deeper into agony. To us their lives are important too.

    Hope things work the way they ought to.

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  4. This is very good.Shoot to kill for poachers it`s the best way and better would be shoot than skin alive every poacher in the world.

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  5. puh-LEEEZE....
    there always has to be some or other New-Age Bunny-Hugger with sentiments that sound good regarding "human rights" and some or other crap like that.
    I'd bet that "Elephant E-ctivism" above is opposed to the killing of violent criminals by death penalty and I'd bet that he (she?) supports the killing of innocent unborn children by abortion...
    These kinds of people often have ZERO morality no matter what "innovative" solutions they try to offer on real problems.

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    1. ThinkAbout - Zero tolerance for b*llshit whines that's for sure. For the record, female, 51 years old, opposed to the death penalty and 100% in favour of abortion as a woman's right over her own reproductive health. "These Kind of people" are deeply philosophical, reflective and don't just knee jerk there way about the world making comments lacking substance and thought. :-) (Jude Price)

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  6. The worldwide criminal syndicates that are now killing the elephants and rhinos do so from helicopters just before dark and they shoot directly into the tops of the skulls of the animals with M16's manufactured in the USA. Rangers will need to be well paid not to fall prey to offers of $ for advising of the animals whereabouts. Rangers also need night vision goggles and bullet proof vests. China has built an ivory carving factory in the last 2 years and plans on building 2 schools to train ivory carvers.

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  7. Excellent. Implement it. Yesterday.

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  8. How has ivory made this resurgence? What happened to the world wide ban and has the U.S. changed in policy or behavior? Can activists put enough pressure on the U.S. to put any pressure on China?

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  9. I, for one, would much rather see ivory carving shops and factories confiscated and their contents burned, all on national television with a narrative explaining the reasons. Same with rhino horns and traditional medicine shops. Meanwhile, judges and police who aid poachers and smugglers need long, brutal prison sentences. Most important of all is for the not inconsiderable government propaganda machines in consuming countries to tell their citizens where ivory and horn come from and that they are liquidating species for absolutely idiotic reasons and will deprive future generations of these creatures.

    Yes, I know this is all largely unrealistic, but one must have hope and keep planting ideas.

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  10. if they shot a rhino or elephant they should be taken and shot in front of there families...so everyone can see that if u kill them u will die the same way...they dont care how many rhino they kill and they wont stop for nothing and when they all gone...they will start killing the next animal until they are extinct too...they dont deserve to be part of the human race...well done BOTSWANA...now the damn SOUTH AFRICAN government..NEEDS TO START CARING.

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  11. Make it so expensive in terms of flesh and blood for poachers that they look for another way to make a living. Quit playing cops and robbers while species are driven into extinction so the wealthy can have luxuries just for the purpose of status.

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  12. i agree 100 percent with this policy!!!! someone needs to stand up for this animals!

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