Monday, June 17, 2013

Kenya Wildlife Service suspends more than 30 game rangers suspected of complicity in poaching

June 2013. Kenya Wildlife Service has suspended more than 30 senior personnel who are under suspicion of participating in or helping poaching gangs operation in National Parks across Kenya. Kenya has always struggled against poachers targeting elephants, but the scourge of elephant poaching in Kenya has increased recently, and there has also been a surge in rhino poaching in the last month or so. Susan Soila Sayialel, a deputy director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, and her son, Robert Sayialel, who also works for the trust, have been arrested and charged with being illegally in possession of 19 kilogrammes of elephant ivory. Soila and her son claim that they have been framed by staff of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Kenya to clamp down on wildlife crime _ Big increase in punishment for poachers Poachers will receive greater penalties if caught killing elephants in Kenya after a new bill was passed by the Kenyan Government - a move welcomed by international wildlife charity Care for the Wild. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his cabinet approved the Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill and Policy, which will massively raise fines and potential prison sentences for those caught poaching. Those found guilty could also lose property gained through poaching; while officials involved in poaching will lose their jobs. More rangers and a crack enforcement team will also be employed. Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild International, said: "It's taken a long time coming, but this is excellent news. Kenya has been under attack from poachers for a long time now, but has offered no defence in terms of penalties for offenders. At least now, poachers know that if they are caught in Kenya, they will be properly punished. "Care for the Wild has been running anti-poaching patrols in Kenya for many years, and the work has become very dangerous. We needed the government to show that they were protecting the people who protect the wildlife - and they've taken a step in the right direction." Mr Mansbridge added that responsibility for the poaching crisis could not fall solely onto the Kenyan Government. Care for the Wild has been calling for the G8 group of nations to divert foreign aid into fighting wildlife crime - which is becoming increasingly responsible for national security issues. "The world has been watching this crisis unfold, and the world is talking about it. But now the world has to act. Elephant poaching will not only lead to the sickeningly sad destruction of the most iconic of animals, but it is increasingly intertwined with growing poverty, ethnic rivalry, terrorism and civil war. This is no longer a wildlife problem, it's a world problem. "This month, the G8 leaders meet in Northern Ireland. At their disposal is $90 billion of foreign aid. A plan exists, drawn up by elephant range states, to counter poaching - it costs $97 million, but they haven't been able to raise it. For the equivalent of just 7p per person from each of the G8 states' aid budgets we could start to squash this poaching problem. Please G8 - don't leave this until it's too late." Source: Wildlife Extra

No comments:

Post a Comment