ZimParks defends international hyena trade

HARARE - Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has defended government’s widely condemned international trade in hyenas.

ZimParks said hyenas were not an endangered species but warned that cruel shipment of the animals would incur the full wrath of the law. 

This comes as officials from the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Znspca) a fortnight ago suspended live hyena exports to a safari park in China after noting gross animal cruelty.

The animal welfare organisation managed to stop the hyenas leaving aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane bound for Johannesburg.

The inspectors made the interception after establishing the shipping crates were substandard and did not conform to International Air Transport Association (Iata) specifications as required under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

In addition, there were several irregularities with the accompanying paperwork, rendering the shipment non-compliant in respect of any air transporter or animal regulating authority.

The shipment had originated from Hwange and was under the custody of a Chinese businessman living in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe is allowed to carry out international trade in spotted hyenas because they are not a threatened species,” said ZimParks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo.

“Parks carried out assessments of the spotted hyena population in Zimbabwe and can confirm that the level of harvest from the wild has no detrimental effects to the remaining hyenas.”

There has been an outcry from animal rights groups who have repeatedly condemned the treatment and living conditions of animals inside Hangzhou Safari Park.

But ZimParks, whose role is to conserve and manage all the wildlife in the country, dismissed the allegations as false.

“Further, assessments were done and confirmed that the receiving country, China and site in China, Hang Zhou Safari Park, were acceptable and appropriate destination for the spotted hyenas,” Washaya-Moyo said.

She added that various measures had been put in place to ensure that hyenas destined for China will not be exposed to cruelty.

Comments (4)

It seems like some people at Zimparks are bent on destroying tourism. People from all over the world come here as tourism to admire and enjoy the wild life. If now you are selling them these animals to establish their own game parks how then would you expect them to come as tourists to view ours??? Is this not a sign of extreme short sightednes at its worst???? So our future generations would not need tourism as an industry????

MR COOPER - 18 November 2016

guys we are now selling the family silver. china i s trying its best to destroy our economy from each and every corner. our leaders are short sighted they just want short term benefits without looking at our future. is this sustainable management. pliz stop this at all

game changers - 19 November 2016

This has to stop, it's not right.

Dawn Ward-Doma - 20 November 2016


john pasqua - 21 November 2016

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