Tanzania lifts ban on wildlife exports

Tanzania lifts ban on wildlife exports

Tanzania lifts ban on wildlife exports

Tanzania lifts ban on wildlife exports( Credit: Google)

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  • Tanzania is lifting a six-year-old prohibition on wildlife exports.
  • A Qatari airliner illegally exported at least 116 animals and 16 birds.
  • The government justified the ban because of “irregularities” in trade.
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Tanzania is temporarily lifting a six-year-old prohibition on wildlife exports in order to conserve Tanzania’s protected animals and birds, according to the country’s wildlife department.

Conservationists argued that the decision to relax the moratorium for a six-month period should be accompanied by monitoring procedures to prevent poaching, which has been on the decline.

“The government has been assessing the business of exporting live wild animals since the ban was imposed and now it has lifted the ban,” Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority said in a statement late Friday.

Traders will have six months from June 6 to December 5 to “clear stocks of animals” that they were unable to sell under the ban, it added.

Tanzania imposed the ban in 2016 under the authoritarian rule of then-president John Magufuli, whose uncompromising leadership style saw him nicknamed “the Bulldozer”.

The government at the time justified the ban because of “irregularities” in trade, including the shipment of protected animals abroad.

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President Samia Suluhu Hassan has sought to break with some of Magufuli’s policies since she came to power last year following his sudden death.

Read more: Tanzania raises minimum wage by nearly 25%

Conservation group WWF cautioned that easing the ban should not undo gains made in protecting wildlife, such as triggering poaching which has been on a decline.

“Proper monitoring mechanisms and data are needed to back such kinds of decisions,” WWF country director Amani Ngusaru told AFP.

Tanzania is famed for its sandy beach archipelago of Zanzibar, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro which are a lucrative draw for tourists.

A Qatari airliner illegally exported at least 116 animals and 16 birds, some of which were protected species, from Kilimanjaro airport in the north of the country in 2010.

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According to local media, they included at least four giraffes, numerous different varieties of antelope, hornbills, and vultures.

Read more: Wildlife reserve in southern China

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