By Martin Mwita
A global conservation organisation has applauded MPs for their commitment to amending the Wildlife Act to make penalties for wildlife crime more stringent.
WorldWide Fund Kenya chapter yesterday said the amendment to the Act will curb countrywide poaching.
The organisation wants penalties for wildlife attacks made stiff. This comes after MPs voted in support of the Act. The Act will see poachers imprisoned for 15 years and/or a fine of up to Sh9 million.
The emergency amendment of the Act will also see the number of game rangers increased. The government through the Director of Public Prosecutions has set up a special division to address wildlife related crimes.
This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta's commitment to put an end to the poaching crisis in the country. Speaking yesterday during a walk to advocate for an end to poaching, WWF regional representative Niall O'Connor termed the move as positive.
He said the Act is significant to WWF which is currently running a global campaign to end Illegal Wildlife Trade. He said new laws will complement the IWT campaign which has seen Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's pledge to end ivory trade in Thailand through amending national legislation.
"This will help end ivory trade in Thailand, currently the world's largest unregulated ivory market. It will also cut the supply to these markets from developing countries such as Kenya hence tackle the demand and supply elements of this intricate yet illicit trade," said O'Connor. More....