Sabahi (Washington, DC)

23 January 2013

Tanzanian Parliament Calls for Stricter Anti-Poaching Measures

Tanzania's parliamentary committee for land, natural resources and environment is looking into scaling up anti-poaching efforts in the country, Tanzania's Daily News reported Wednesday (January 23rd).

Addressing the public after meeting with the Tanzania National Parks and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development, committee chairman James Lembeli advocated harsher punishments for poachers. "Current laws are outdated; those found guilty of poaching are made to pay only 500,000 shillings ($311), which is very little for someone dealing in that business," he said.

Lembeli said that creating an independent parliamentary committee to investigate the recent increase in poaching would be instrumental, especially in light of suspicions that public officials are involved in the illegal trade of ivory.

A report submitted to parliament in 2012 estimated that 30 elephants were killed in Tanzania daily, he said.

Two large caches of ivory originating in Tanzania were seized in Hong Kong last year, the first in October and the second in November.

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