Tanzania lifts ban on wildlife exports
- In 2010, at least 116 animals and 16 birds, some of them protected species, were illegally exported from Kilimanjaro airport aboard a Qatari plane.
Tanzania is temporarily rolling back a ban on wildlife exports that was in force for six years to safeguard protected animals and birds, the wildlife service said.
The decision to lift the ban for an initial six months saw conservationists appeal for monitoring processes to guard against poaching, which has been on the decline.
"The government has been assessing the business of exporting live wild animals since the ban was imposed and now it has lifted the ban," Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority said in a statement late Friday.
Traders will have six months from June 6 to December 5 to "clear stocks of animals" that they were unable to sell under the ban, it added.
The government at the time justified the ban because of "irregularities" in trade, including the shipment of protected animals abroad.
Conservation group WWF cautioned that easing the ban should not undo gains made in protecting wildlife, such as triggering poaching which has been on a decline.
"Proper monitoring mechanisms and data are needed to back such kinds of decisions," WWF country director Amani Ngusaru .
Tanzania is famed for its sandy beach archipelago of Zanzibar, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro which are a lucrative draw for tourists.
In 2010, at least 116 animals and 16 birds, some of them protected species, were illegally exported from Kilimanjaro airport aboard a Qatari plane.
They included at least four giraffes, several different types of antelope, hornbills and vultures.