8 February 2017

Uganda: Government in New Move to Control Poaching

Government plans to create a new special court for poachers who face fines of up to Shs20m and a jail sentence of more than two years.

In the proposed draft Bill to amend the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Act, government has set tough measures to discourage killing of wild animals that are a major source of revenue to government.

"We have had instances where a poacher kills a buffalo worth Shs500, 000 but when that person is taken to court, pays a fine of Shs30,000. We are now coming up with a special court in the new law that will levy heavy fines and sentences for culprits. The new court, like the Anti-Corruption Court, is to provide quick trial of suspects," the UWA director planning, Mr Edgar Buhinga, said.

Speaking to district leaders surrounding Queen Elizabeth National Park and members of the Tulambule promotion team, aimed at boosting domestic tourism on Monday, Mr Buhinga said the Bill also proposes a special court for speedy prosecution of suspects.

Tulambule also aims at boosting tourists to national parks from the current one million to more than four million by 2020.

New laboratory

State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda said government is constructing a laboratory in Kasese for animal research that will be instrumental in producing evidence on poachers.

"The facility estimated at Shs800m will help us do research on diseases affecting our wild life and domestic animals in Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda. We have cases where poachers are arrested with game meat and instead claim it is meat of domestic animals," he said.

"But now with this facility, we will be able to carry out tests and establish whether it is either wild or domestic animal."

A veterinary doctor, Ms Margaret Duchiru, said the laboratory is to a level two with the referral laboratory in Entebbe.

Draft Bill

In the proposed draft Bill to amend the Uganda Wildlife Authority Act, government has set tough measures to discourage killing of wild animals that are a major source of revenue to government.

Uganda

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