Conservationists have warned that Kenya may lose all elephants to poachers in the next 10 years if penalties against poachers and traffickers are not increased.
Wildlife Direct Director Dr. Paula Kahumbu on Tuesday evening told journalists in Nairobi that the sentence given to those found guilty is lenient hence more deaths of elephants.
“The judiciary must be ready to sentence offenders heavily to help stop the trafficking of ivory in Africa,” she observed during a talk at the National Museums of Kenya.
Kahumbu noted that her organization is engaging the judiciary in awareness creation after it emerged that many magistrates and prosecutors do not know the importance of wildlife, hence the light sentence against perpetrators as opposed to what other countries are doing.
She noted that the current sentence of 10 years and a fine of 470 U.S. dollars is only helping traffickers go scot free since their agents are capable of paying the fine.
She suggested that all traffickers be given life imprisonment and a fine of no less than 235,000 dollars to help stop the cartels from destroying the wonders of nature.
Kahumbu revealed that a study that was done by her organization this year in 15 courts in the country, found out that 2,000 people are arrested every year with offenses on poaching and trafficking but only 10 percent are taken to court.
He said that 52 percent of them plead guilty with only 5 percent sentenced to jail as the remaining 95 percent are fined and set free. More....