Archive for the ‘Tanzania’ Tag

Increased giraffe poaching in Arusha region   7 comments

From:  WANTED in AFRICA

Maasai Giraffe, Lake Manyara, Tanzania

Maasai Giraffe, Lake Manyara, Tanzania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Giraffe killing highlighted in the Manyara lake district

Poachers are turning their attention to giraffes in the Manyara lake region, south-west of Arusha, according to reports in local media.

Tanzania‘s national symbol, the giraffe, is a protected species but is coming under increasing attack from poachers keen to take advantage of the booming illicit trade in giraffe meat.

The killing of the animals is also fuelled by the mistaken belief that the consumption of giraffe brains and bone marrow is an effective cure for HIV/AIDS.

Giraffe meat is allegedly transported around Tanzania as well as being smuggled to restaurants in neighbouring countries where it can command a high price. The animals’ skin and hair is also used to make illegal bracelets, necklaces and fly swatters.

Some local wildlife rangers acknowledge the killing of giraffes in the Manyara area but claim that poachers do not target giraffes specifically – often killing gazelle, antelope and zebra as well.

Environmentalists say that giraffe poaching has become a problem across Africa, as the sedentary animals are easy prey for their attackers, often staring at a poacher before running away. Giraffes can also be killed with one shot and are easily trapped using leg and neck snares.

 

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Tanzanian ivory not being sold to Chinese diplomats, allegations of buying sprees fabricated: officials   2 comments

From: abc.net.au

Updated Sat at 4:31amSat 8 Nov 2014, 4:31am

Tanzanian officials have dismissed claims Chinese diplomatic and military staff have purchased illegal white ivory while on official visits to East Africa made by an environmental activist group.

The country’s foreign minister said the report by the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) was a “fabrication” designed to upset growing ties between Tanzania and China.

“We should ask ourselves as to why these allegations are surfacing a few days before (Tanzanian) president Jakaya Kikwete‘s visit to China,” foreign minister Bernard Membe told parliament.

“These are mere fabrications.

“It is obvious that perpetrators of these allegations are people who do not wish to see our country attain development.

“The false reports were made out of jealousy seeing that Tanzania enjoys cordial relations with China.”

The minister asserted that the two countries have been sharing intelligence reports which have enabled numerous interceptions of ivory destined for China from Tanzania.

“China is doing a lot to help us solve this wildlife-threatening crime,” Tanzania’s tourism minister Lazaro Nyalandu said.

“It is easy to see how cooked-up the report is, because saying that the Chinese president‘s plane was used to carry tusks is illogical.

“Such crafts are usually heavily guarded and surrounded by hundreds of people, leaving no room for any foul play.”

Embassy staff ivory ‘major buyers’ since 2006

According to the EIA, when Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Tanzania in March 2013 members of his government and business delegation bought so much ivory that local prices doubled.

The group quoted ivory traders as saying the buyers took advantage of a lack of security checks for diplomatic visitors to smuggle their purchases back to China on Xi’s plane.

The report said similar sales were made on a previous trip by China’s former president Hu Jintao and Chinese embassy staff have been “major buyers” since at least 2006.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei also described the report as “groundless”.

Tens of thousands of elephants are estimated to be slaughtered in Africa each year to feed rising Asian demand for ivory products.

Reports said the demand comes mostly from China – the continent’s biggest trading partner.

Almost all ivory sales were banned in 1989 by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to which both China and Tanzania are signatories.

Reuters

 

NRA Pushing Bill to Legalize Ivory Trade, Protect Right to Hunt Endangered Elephants | Ring of Fire   Leave a comment

NRA Pushing Bill to Legalize Ivory Trade, Protect Right to Hunt Endangered Elephants | Ring of Fire.

Posted on August 15, 2014

Poaching elephants for the illegal collection and sale of ivory continues to be a huge problem globally. Last year, the US. Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed nearly six tons of illegal ivory it ha obtained through custom seizures and criminal investigations. Currently the US ranks second only to China in the amount of illegal ivory imported. More than 20,000 elephants were killed across the African continent last year alone, with the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda accounting for around 80 percent of all continental ivory seizures.

The US government is continuing to take steps to combat the ivory trade industry. Last year, the Obama administration announced its National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, which included the ban of commercially traded elephant ivory and the domestic sale of all non-antique ivory. In April of this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced a suspension on the import of “sport-hunted African elephant trophies” coming in from Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

A press release said,

“Questionable management practices, a lack of effective law enforcement, and weak governance have resulted in uncontrolled poaching and catastrophic population declines of African elephants in Tanzania. In Zimbabwe [there has been] a significant decline in the elephant population. Anecdotal evidence, such as the widely publicized poisoning last year of 300 elephants in Hwange National Park, suggests that Zimbabwe’s elephants are also under siege.”

Of course the National Rifle Association (NRA) doesn’t see these steps as necessary measures to save the African elephant population from complete extinction; it sees them as an attack on personal freedoms, including the freedom to shoot an endangered species.

Regarding the ban on selling non-antique ivory, the NRA, not mentioning once the damage to the elephant population, called upon its members to contact the White House, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and their US Representative to express their opposition. The NRA called the ban “another attempt by this anti-gun Administration to ban firearms.”

The NRA later released an update on their efforts, announcing that Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) had introduced the Lawful Ivory Protection Act of 2014. The NRA said the bill, which served as a response to the government’s “overreach of authority,” would “protect firearm owners and sportsmen from a federal ban on the sale and trade of objects containing the trade of objects containing lawfully-imported elephant ivory.”

Only briefly and at the end of the update was a mention of the protection of the rights of Americans to hunt elephants in Africa.

“Your actions today may determine if the sale and trade of firearms that contain ivory, as well as the importation of sport-hunted elephants, will be banned.”

If the government completely bans the import of all sport-trophies, the banning of Americans buying elephant-hunting permits from African countries would logically follow at some point. Most Americans actually support the banning of ivory if it meant it would further protect the elephant population.

But, as it did with the universal background checks that were supported by 80 to 90 percent of the public, the NRA is ignoring the greater good for its own selfish interests. It continues to wield its ridiculous power over politicians to sway legislation in its favor.

Amy is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow her on Twitter @AEddings31.

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