UK commits £13 million to help fight against ivory poachers ahead of historic burn

John Murton at Ivory Burn site
UK Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, Doctor John Murton, at Ivory Burn site. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

Today, the Kenyan government will burn 105 tonnes of ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn, delivering a dramatic message to those involved in the illegal poaching and smuggling trade.

The UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, Doctor John Murton, has visited the site of the ivory burn. The United Kingdom are supporting the Kenyan government in this fight by committing £13 million to help reduce demand and strengthen enforcement.

Today’s torching of the ivory stockpile at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) headquarters, will take place during a ceremony attended by world leaders and celebrities.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will preside over the event in which the confiscated ivory and rhino horns will be set ablaze, this according to KWS Species Conservation and Management boss Patrick Omondi.

The stockpile is an accumulation of ivory from 1989. A national inventory undertaken for the first time in Kenya last year, helped determine the number of rhino horns and ivory and their location.

On Thursday, the KWS revealed that a total of twenty-one seizures have been made by their Canine Unit at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from January to April 4th, 2016.

Pangolin scales, wildlife skins, and teeth are among the items which have also been seized.

According to the statement, the majority of those arrested trafficking the illegal trophies are from China, with others from Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Since the enactment of Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013, stiff penalties have been meted out to criminals convicted of being in possession of illegal wildlife trophies.

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