KWS seeks total ban on trade in ivory artefacts

April 15, 2016 4:36 pm
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Speaking after receiving a consignment of ivory set to be burnt at the end of this month, KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi stated that the high prices of such commodities is to blame for the high poaching rate/FILE
Speaking after receiving a consignment of ivory set to be burnt at the end of this month, KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi stated that the high prices of such commodities is to blame for the high poaching rate/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is now calling for a total ban in all dealings in ivory and rhino horn products to eliminate the killing of wildlife.

Speaking after receiving a consignment of ivory set to be burnt at the end of this month, KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi stated that the high prices of such commodities is to blame for the high poaching rate.

He pointed out that such a ban will ensure that the endangered species of both elephants and rhinos are preserved.

“This is part of our plea for the total ban of ivory and Rhino horn trade globally so that we can kill the demand for these and enable our iconic species which are really in danger of extinction to thrive again,” he stated.

Mbathi further stated that the consignment received included ivory from killed wildlife and even those that were in transit through Kenya.

“It is a combination of natural deaths, poaching and human wildlife conflict and the majority is from Kenya but also we have been able to intercept some which were passing through Kenya for export,” he said.

The consignment was received by the Director General for clearance, before being transported under heavy security to the Nairobi National Park.

According to Mbathi, the ivory, which is being transported from Voi, Mombasa, Nanyuki and other parts of the country, will make up a significant proportion of an estimated 106 tonnes of elephant tusks to be set ablaze.

“We are burning them because it is the demonstration of our government in that they do not believe that there is any intrinsic value in the ivory or the rhino horn and the only value is on the elephant or the rhino,” he stated.

“So we are actually demonstrating practically that this for us is not worth anything but the elephants are worth everything.”

He further pointed out that the action will be done in protest at the continued slaughter of the country’s most iconic species.

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