The conservation community had even more reason to celebrate during the holiday season as Kenya passed a new Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill.
The country’s conservationists have been calling for harsher punishment for poaching and trafficking for years, and in May 2013 Kenya’s parliament even passed a revolutionary emergency amendment to the Wildlife Act, which elevated penalties for wildlife crime.
Under this new law, parties involved in wildlife crime, at all levels—from financiers, to poachers, to traders—can expect to face higher fines and longer prison terms. Individuals caught at airports possessing prohibited wildlife products, like blood ivory, will face fines of no less than KSH1 million (US$11,628).
AWF has been working with Kenya judicial and law enforcement officials to increase penalties for wildlife crimes, and the passage of the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill is indeed welcome news.
With its new bill, Kenya shows its leadership in conservation, and we hope that it will serve as a model to other countries and as a strong deterrent to criminals.
Gayane is AWF's Online Communications Associate. She works with our blogs, social media, and online partners. Gayane is passionate about communicating the message of conservation through new tools and technologies and finding ways to make information easily accessible. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.
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