The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) says the hunting ban on elephants and big cats is still in effect contrary to widespread reports in the media that this was not the case.
ZAWA communications and public relations officer Readith Muliyunda said in a statement yesterday that that even before the ban was effected, Zambia was never been a pro-elephant hunting nation
“Contrary to blatant misinformation reports on social media and some sectors of the media that the hunting ban on elephants has been lifted, ZAWA would like to inform members of the public and the international community that this is not the case,” she said.
Ms Muliyunda said even before the ban, hunting of elephants in Zambia had been at the lowest, restricted to two out of the 36 Game Management Areas (GMA’s) namely, Rufunsa and Lupande.
She said the only reason for hunting in these areas was because they were overly populated and causing human wildlife conflicts.
But two weeks ago, Tourism minister Jean Kapata lifted a 20-month ban on safari hunting saying the country had lost too much revenue.
The ban was imposed in January 2013 over allegations of corruption in the awarding of government hunting concessions, and because of fears for the future of the country’s population of big cats.
“We lost too much revenue following the ban on hunting and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) had a lot of financial problems,” Tourism Minister Jean Kapata told AFP.
Kapata said hunting fees will be raised.