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Governmement steps up efforts to curb wildlife crimes

03 March 2014, 18:56 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The government has stepped up the fight against wildlife crime with the formation of a special unit to probe and prosecute instigators of poaching.

Kenya has seen a sharp increase in incidences of poaching, with estimates indicating that more and more animals are being killed for their black-market value.

The number of poached Rhino's has risen sharply and with Elephant numbers also affected, the government has been forced to dive in to quell the tide.

A newly implemented wildlife law that exercises tough punishments to poachers and smugglers has been well received but there has been need to do more.

And now the government has formed a special unit, which according to Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko will work full time to deal with the threat to Kenya's cherished wildlife heritage.

" This new unit will be tasked with dealing with cases that present a challenge to the protection and preservation of our wildlife and ensure that such incidences are properly dealt with, he said during celebrations for the World Wildlife Day in Nairobi.

He added that the new unit which houses 35 officers had already begun work on ensuring the Wildlife Management Act 2013 is in good shape to help protect the country's wildlife.

" They will offer suggestions and recommendations on ways if necessary of improving the new law, he added.

The new law proposes fines of upto KES 20 million or a minimum of ten years in jail for individuals charged with aiding poaching or smuggling.

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