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Wildlife body suspends sport hunting

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th November 2010 03:00 AM

INVESTORS in sport hunting in Uganda’s game parks have up to January next year to stop shooting wild animals for fun.

INVESTORS in sport hunting in Uganda’s game parks have up to January next year to stop shooting wild animals for fun.

By Gerald Tenywa

INVESTORS in sport hunting in Uganda’s game parks have up to January next year to stop shooting wild animals for fun.

This follows a resolution from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to cancel hunting concessions offered years ago to the wildlife reserves.

“We are concerned about the dwindling numbers of wild animals in the wildlife reserves. Hunting is prohibited,” said Mark Kamanzi, the acting director of UWA.

“Instead of allowing animals to breed through game farming, the hunters were being offered hunting quotas (allocated areas),” said Kamanzi.

Other sources said the board agreed to cancel the hunting concessions in a recent meeting following concerns that animal populations in wildlife reserves were low and that concessionaires were shooting them down.

Animals offered for sport hunting include buffalos, bushbuck, bush pigs, warthogs, duikers, elands, impalas and oribis. Others are reedbucks, kobs, topis, waterbuck, leopards, hippopotamus and zebras.

Kamanzi said the decision would not affect private wildlife ranchers outside Lake Mburo National Park in western Uganda and parts of Luweero, Nakasongola and Nakaseke districts in central Uganda.

He, however, stressed that concessions offered in wildlife reserves such as Kabwoya in Hoima district, wildlife reserves in West Nile and parts of Karamoja region would be affected.

Asked how they would deal with the legal implications of their actions, Kamanzi said they were holding discussions with the investors, but most of the concessionaires had not invested heavily and that they would be compensated.

Assessing sport hunting, Kamanzi said UWA offered concessions of 20 years without regulations on hunting and monitoring mechanisms.

He added that the share of benefits were lopsided and unlikely to deter poaching or improve UWA’s capacity to manage the wildlife reserves.

Uganda imposed a ban on hunting two decades ago, but re-introduced sport hunting amid protests from conservationists.

The wildlife managers, on the other hand, argued that the only way to save wildlife was to use it to attract the private sector to invest in the management of wildlife reserves.

They set up Lake Mburo National Park and Kabwoya as models.

Wildlife body suspends sport hunting

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