Tawa’s Principal Game Warden, Mary Kashangaki said in Dar es Salaam last week that the investors want to keep the wild animals including snakes as a tourist attraction but also for the export market.
Kashangaki said Tawa has invited interested investors to get its permits to establish the wildlife captive facilities and get details of the laws and regulations governing the trade.
“As Tawa we are very glad to work with investors because, among other things, the business will earn our country foreign currency but also for conservation as the animals are taken care of professionally,” she said.
She further noted that investment wildlife farms will also help market the country abroad because of the unique species of wild animals that Tanzania has compared to other African countries.
“For example we have an investor in Arusha who has established a snake farm which apart from attracting tourists but also exports venom extracted from the serpents,” she noted while stressing that the unique farm also earn the country foreign currency as a gram of venom fetches as much as U$4,000 (over9m/-) at the world market.
Snake venom is used to make expensive perfumes, medicine for curing human diseases and other luxury products especially in Europe and Asia with countries such as China with big demand.
“In China, they use venom to make some food ingredients but also make snake wine which is used to cure some spinal and liver diseases but also snake meat is also consumed,” she noted.
In order to establish a wildlife farm, an investor needs to get a permit for 40,000/- for an individual while a company pays 100,000/-. In a bid to qualify for a license, the investor is required to have an area of between 500 to 2000 hectares of land and should be far from a conservation facility. The licenses are issued quarterly and not annually.
The law also requires that an investor should employ or hire a qualified wildlife veterinary officer who shall be in charge of the farm. The law also forbids any keeping of protected species of animals as per local and international regulations.
“The death of any animal at such a farm shall be reported in writing to the Tawa Director General and such report shall be accompanied by a post-mortem report from qualified veterinary officer,” Kashangaki stressed.
Furthermore registration and issuance of certificate of ownership for newly born animals in a controlled environment shall involve payment of 5 percent of parent stock price as per regulations.