Lobby raises red flag over increasing poaching
Posted Friday, January 18 2013 at 18:29
The tourism industry has raised the red flag over an upsurge of poaching in Kenya. The sector is concerned that cases of poaching are at an all-time high since November last year.
“Poaching poses a major challenge to wildlife, especially in the conservation of target species — elephants and rhinos,” reads a statement from the Kenya Tourism Federation in part.
The menace has pushed Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to roll out a raft of measures to fight poachers by involving local communities as well as increasing staff efficiency through acquisition of appropriate equipment such as aircraft, vehicles and firearms.
The KWS has also commissioned the construction of a wildlife forensic and genetics laboratory at its head offices in Nairobi which will be one of its kind in East and Central Africa.
The laboratory will be used to strengthen investigations through provision of evidence in the prosecution of wildlife-related crimes such as poaching. It will also help in tracking genetic status of declining species and determining special gene pools that require enhanced protection.
Recently, there have been investigation reports saying smugglers are crafting new ways of trafficking wildlife treasures right under the nose of security agencies. They include branding containers ferrying ivory as containing either timber, fruits, electronics, tyres, decoration stones or other raw materials heading to the far east.