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74 elephants killed by poachers

08 April 2013, 15:13 Dennis Omido

The government has stated that so far this year, 74 elephants have been killed by poachers.

According to statistics, 289 elephants were killed in 2011, while in 2012, 384 elephants were killed.

In a statement, Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki said that lenient penalties and sentencing for wildlife crime by the courts are the major setbacks in the fight against poaching activities in the country.

“This is largely because of the provisions of outdated laws on wildlife. The government is concerned about this and has facilitated the process of reviewing the wildlife law and policy with a view to having more deterrent penalties and jail terms,” he said.

Kariuki is however optimistic that the 11th Parliament will prioritise to passing of a new wildlife law and policy saying that tourism and related services remains a major source of income for Kenyans.

He pointed out that the government through KWS has stepped up anti-poaching operations with a view to stamp out the poaching menace.

More resources have been deployed including personnel and equipment, and 1 000 more rangers will soon be recruited to beef up the ranger force.

“In order to stay ahead of the poachers, KWS is modernizing its force with the support of the government. This includes equipping the force with state of the art equipment and cutting edge training,” he said.

Kariuki added that poaching figures for the last three months compared to the same period last year showed a reduction in poaching.

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