June 19, 2009

Ivory Trafficking Is Becoming A Bigger Issue In Africa

On Friday, experts said that ivory and game meat trafficking has turned out to be one of the most lucrative illegal trades in Africa because of rising demands in Asia.

"In terms of monetary value, ivory trade has surpassed drugs and is now one of the most thriving illegal trades in the continent," said Karl Karugaba, the head of a panel from the Lusaka Agreement Task Force.

Karugaba told reporters in Naivasha that the large number of contraband that was taken at different African airports pointed to rising demand.

At the end of the conference, he spoke of monitors drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 1992, the Lusaka Agreement came into force, which was created to help African law enforcement agencies take on wildlife smuggling.

TRAFFIC, a global wildlife trade monitoring group, said on Friday that Thailand is Asia's largest illegal elephant ivory market and shows little signs of addressing the issue.


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