16TH October 2019
The Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA) has been denied access to the country’s captive elephants, reportedly about to be sent to captive facilities in China. This suggests that welfare concerns are being ignored. The ZNSCPA is constitutionally permitted to access any part of the country if they suspect cruelty to animals. An urgent chamber application for access is likely to be submitted today.
A letter has been delivered by hand to the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, urging the Chinese president to halt the reportedly imminent import of 33 captive elephants from Zimbabwe to undisclosed captive facilities in China (word on the ground estimates that the transport will occur today or tomorrow). The letter is penned by a group of thirty-five global specialists in elephant biology, husbandry, elephant management, legal and policy analysis, economics and conservation, most of whom are based in Africa. A similar letter was hand delivered to HE Mr Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, the Zimbabwean ambassador to the UN, urging the President of Zimbabwe to stop the export.
In response to the news that a Chinese crew had arrived in Zimbabwe last week to prepare 33 baby elephants for export from Hwange National Park, Zimbabwean activists launched a last-minute bid to prevent it. After being forcibly removed from their families, the elephants have been living in captivity for nearly a year. The People and Earth Solidarity Law Network, a Zimbabwean NGO, filed a lawsuit in May 2019 that demanded details of the export deal. The case (HC4289/19) is before the courts but has not yet been heard by a judge. Their lawyers have sent a letter to the lawyers for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), stating that going ahead with the translocation “will amount to reckless disregard of the court process”.
Tinashe Farawo, a spokesperson for ZimParks, has denied that anything untoward is occurring or that the deal is secret, according to a report in the UK Telegraph. He did not, however, deny that the translocation is occurring.Continue reading “PRESSURE MOUNTS ON GOVERNMENTS TO STOP THE BABY ELEPHANT EXPORT FROM ZIMBABWE TO CHINA”