Wildlife Poachers In Kenya Could Face The Death Penalty

Discussion in 'Articles' started by NamStay, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. NamStay

    NamStay AH Enthusiast

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    Source: https://allthatsinteresting.com/death-penalty-poaching-kenya


    Wildlife Poachers In Kenya Could Face The Death Penalty

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    Last year, Kenya announced that it would set the death penalty as punishment for illegal poaching. Now, the government is trying to fast-track the law into passing.


    Last year, the Kenyan government announced a bold proposition to protect its vulnerable wildlife: using the death penalty against illegal poachers. Now, according to News 360, lawmakers are aiming to fast-track the passing of this legislation.

    The current law in Kenya makes it illegal to kill endangered animals in the country. In addition, the 2013 Wildlife Conservation Act also carries a life sentence or $200,000 fine against illegal poachers. But these legislative efforts have not been enough.

    “This [fining and life sentence] has not been deterrence enough to curb poaching,” said Najib Balala, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for its Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

    The decision to set the death penalty as punishment for illegal poaching is a controversial one that has invited both praise and criticism against the Kenyan government. The move has also drawn the ire of the United Nations, which opposes the death penalty for all crimes and has been pushing for the phasing-out of capital punishment worldwide.

    Kenya has a highly diverse wildlife population and is home to a number of beloved yet often killed animals, such as giraffes, cheetahs, rhinoceros, and elephants, with the latter two animals the most threatened because of their desired horns and tusks among poachers.

    The good news is that poaching has seen a big decline in Kenya, largely due to increased conservation efforts and law enforcement initiatives. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, rhinoceros poaching in Kenya has declined by 85 percent compared to 2013 while elephant poaching has dwindled by 78 percent.

    However, Kenya’s beloved wildlife does remain in danger.

    As it stands, there are only an estimated 1,000 black rhinos left in Kenya and the elephant population remains around 34,000. Animal advocacy group Save the Rhino reported that there were at least 23 rhinos and 156 elephants that were killed by poachers in the country between 2016 and 2017 alone.

    These estimates do not account for yearly poaching that also continues to occur in other African countries, like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.


    According to a report by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), almost 70 percent of illegal ivory that is sold and exported ends up in China, where these it can sell for up to $1,000 a pound.

    Sanctioning capital punishment as sentencing for illegal poaching acts might sound extreme, but some in Kenya feel that it’s an appropriate response to such an alarming problem.

    Besides the threat of extinction, we are already seeing other consequences for animal populations as a result of uncurbed poaching, including rapid biological evolutions among female African elephants that are increasingly being born without tusks.

    So far, Kenya is the only African country set to officially implement the death penalty as punishment for illegal poaching.
     

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  2. Felipe

    Felipe AH Member

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    Que autoricen la caza y solucionarán mejor, antes y más barato el problema.
     

  3. Felipe

    Felipe AH Member

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    Barato
     

  4. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Yeah, what a deterrent to people who might starve to death in a few weeks anyway.
     

  5. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Enthusiast

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    A good way to make sure any arrest attempts will turn very violent. These people will have nothing at all to lose. If being arrested means death they will do anything and everything not to get arrested. Poaching is a very serious problems but in many places there are undermining issues that cause it, and it’s these problems that need to be dealt with. Hungry people want to eat. That’s very different from first world poaching issues.
     
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  6. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    That's another real problem, isn't it? Europeans and North Americans having no clue what the issues are in Africa.

    The missus has a tendency to get upset with me for being so Zen about everything. Most things I view through the lens of "is it a 1st world problem or a 3rd world problem?". If it's the former, I just don't get very worked up over it. And almost all of it is the former.

    3rd world problems being RE-introduced to the West, now those are things that make me irate.
     
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  7. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Their country.....their laws...

    And though when the United States went into Nazi Germany and ruptured their collective piss bag stopped the slaughter of the Jews we, nor nor other member allies , did so with the singular desire to save one hair on any Jews head.

    if they wish to create laws and penalties to enforce them that is their business and most assuridly not mine or that of my country.
     
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  8. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    It says it’s only for endangered species. Worthless
     
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  9. Felipe

    Felipe AH Member

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    What I wanted to say is that well regulated hunting, contrary to what the anticaza think, is the best antidote against poaching, does not detract money from the Government and contributes to the promotion of wildlife
     
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  10. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Regulated hunting just isn’t enough. Does it help, we’ll we all know it does, but more needs to be done. Death sentence for those caught trying to take ivory out of the country sounds better to me. Poaching for meat is a different story. I’m not sure how to deal with that since most have no means of making money. Tough situation
     

  11. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Ivory is a means of making money for them. They'll fight just as hard to not get caught exporting ivory as they will to fight not getting caught actually killing the animals. They don't kill ele for meat, they kill ele for money. Impala, springbok, etc. they would kill for meat.

    Regulated hunting will guarantee them steadier, safer, and probably greater pay than what they get on the black market for ivory.

    There is always a rational economic answer that creates win-win for the interested parties.
     

  12. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    killing for ivory and rhino horn dosent feed hungry people,very hard to chew,im for the death penalty,poaching for the pot,to feed your kids,even though not legal,cant blame them.if hunting were once again allowed,no reason to poach for food as they would once again be making money and receiving game legally as part of the hunting operation.ivory and rhino poaching is strictly for the big bucks that the cartels are after.
     
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  13. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    As long as there is a market for ivory and rhino horn there will be poaching. It's money for the natives and no kind of punishment will stop it. They are trying to survive but poaching is the wrong way to do it. They don't seem to realize they are not gaining anything, only hurting themselves and jeopardizing their own lives and those of their families.
     

  14. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Until the Chinese market dries up, there will always be a market for ivory and horn. The simplest way to deal with it is to make it more lucrative for people who would poach to engage in not-poaching. Nothing will stop poaching entirely, but a robust hunting market would keep it low, and would make it easier to enforce anti-poaching laws. Like drug dealers, poachers need logistical support from sympathetic people. "Sympathy" can be bought in a couple ways - outright with money, or commiseration. Making game species into economic assets via legalized hunting will absolutely shut down the latter, and will put a big dent in the former. Most people prefer the security of steady income to big risk/big reward.

    There is no way they are going to think about long-term consequences decades down the road when starvation could happen in a couple weeks.
     

  15. Hunter4752001

    Hunter4752001 AH Senior Member

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    I can see why the Kenyan Government would put forward this measure. It will reduce the chance that those at the bottom of the chain will survive to give evidence about their bosses.
     

  16. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    If I were naive, I'd accuse you of cynicism. ;)

    But I'm not naive. The facts are what they are, and you're correct.
     

  17. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A ridiculous policy, which will only result in more people - mostly innocent ones - getting killed by poachers who now have nothing to lose. If getting caught means death, then I have no alternative but to shoot you before you can shoot me. It's happened before, and will again under these misguided policies. Poachers have shot down helicopters send to find them in Tanzania (2016); have killed PH's (Andre de Kock again in Tanzania, for example), and the list goes on.

    As well, we have never seen such policies end poaching, whether of the organized criminal sort or the more local bushmeat sort. The Mexican cartel head El Chapo Guzman will spend the rest of his life in a US prison. Does anyone thing that cartel related violence or drug trafficking has been impacted by this? Does anyone think it would be different if he had been executed?

    What will end poaching is giving people who live with animals an economic stake in those animals, ensuring that boots are on the ground on a regular basis, which would include hunting boots (on my recent trip to Cameroon the organized poaching ring we ran into would never have been found but for hunters), and ultimately improving people's lot in life. I am not naive enough to think that all of this will end poaching, but it will certainly be more effective in limiting it than trying to kill poachers.

    There may be one benefit to such a policy. I am prepared to bet that if poachers start being killed and some are executed, at least the European animal rights organizations who fund much Kenya's positions at CITES, for example, will likely stop doing so. As much as they may wish to save animals, these groups are unlikely to support capital punishment, if only because many, if not most, of their funders would not. In fact, under EU law, a poacher threatened with a death sentence in Kenya, if he or she can get to Europe, can demand asylum and cannot be returned to a country where the person's life would be in danger. Talk about irony!
     
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  18. tigris115

    tigris115 AH Enthusiast

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    I'm just waiting for the day that Kenya actually realizes this is insane and follows Botswana's footsteps. However, I'll probably be dead by then (or retired, whichever comes first)
     
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  19. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well, Kenya is the African home for the ARA and their failed policies so this isn't a surprise.

    Putting animal lives above human lives? What's next? The death penalty for cutting down a tree? :A Ill:
     
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  20. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Interesting you mention trees.

    There are more than a few plants and trees on the endangered species list. Imagine if countries began executing ‘poachers’ of endangered trees or plants!
     

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