Zambia asked to explain why it wants illegal ivory back

Minister Namugala

Minister Namugala

The case in which the  Zambian Government is trying to reclaim 6.5 tonnes of illegal ivory being kept by Kenyan wildlife officials has entered a new twist.

An international organisation working to protect animals has demanded that Zambia should explain why it needs the ivory.

Will Travers of the Born Free Foundation says, “If Zambia wants the ivory back then let them be explicit about the reason behind their demand,” he said.

Born Free Foundation work s to prevent individual animal suffering, protect threatened species and keep wildlife in the wild sets us apart from the rest.

Travers says “If it is to fuel their well-known desire to sell their ivory stockpile to international buyers then their request should, in our view, be denied. If it is to put the ivory permanently beyond use then Zambia is to be applauded.”

The ivory was seized by Zambian and Malawian wildlife officials in Singapore in 2002 and has since been kept at the headquarters of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

DNA tests established that the ivory came from elephants in Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.

Zambia’s minister of tourism, environment and natural resources Catherine Namugala has called on the task force to release the ivory and said that she hopes to “get some resolutions before the end of the year”.

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