The Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Dr. Andrew Seguya, earlier in the week, announced that the current version of the Wildlife Act is being reviewed with the aim to inflict higher fines and longer jail terms on poachers and traders in illicit wildlife products.
According to Dr. Seguya, the level of fines will be raised to Uganda Shillings 200 million, while jail terms will be raised to 20 years, once found guilty in a court of law of poaching, possession of ivory, rhino horn and other wildlife products in demand in Asia, trading or facilitating illegal transactions.
He further mentioned that vehicles used in transporting for instance blood ivory, or warehouses used to store the contraband, under the new law will be forfeited to the state once convictions have been secured.
UWA’s home ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, is currently engaged in pushing for amendments of the law and can hopefully succeed with the changes before the current term of parliament expires ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Uganda’s poaching figures are among the lowest in the region, with much of what is being recorded termed as subsistence poaching, though the country has been increasingly used as a transit route for blood ivory from Eastern Congo and the South Sudan.