Government is yet to decide fate of live animal exports

17Jun 2021
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Government is yet to decide fate of live animal exports

THE government is yet to decide whether to lift or not the temporary ban on exports of live animals which has been in place since 2016.

Deputy minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mary Masanja said in a response to a question by Muheza legislator Hamis Mwinjuma who wanted to know when the government will lift the ban of export of butterflies and other lives animals.

In response the deputy minister said the government was conducting a verification of the losses and profits of the businesses and that after the exercise the decision will be made.

“The government noticed that there were irregularities in the way the business was being conducted including transporting of some protected animals abroad,” she said.

Exporters of the live animals have several times carried behind the scene discussions with officials from the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to find a lasting solution to the problem to no avail.

They have recently said they were seeking an audience with President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her intervention on the matter saying their families are suffering economically following the ban.

Through their umbrella body the Tanzania Wildlife Exporters Association (TWEA) argued that they only export pet species available in open areas which is two third of the total area of the country and not from protected areas which covers one third of the Tanzanian total area.

TWEA has on several occasions complained of incurring losses amounting to billions which included battling lawsuits in foreign courts from their clients who decided to go the legal way after an agreement between the two sides to deliver the animals in time was not honored.

The government banned transportation of all live animals outside the country in March 2016 until proper procedures were made to ensure only approved animals were transported.

The decision sparked anger from exporters who complained that the ban was a surprise decision to them as it was made a month or so after they were handed licenses to operate.

The traders claimed that Tanzania has painted a bad image in a business full of competition that involves various countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and many others saying it will take time to restore the trust from customers.

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