FG urged to make wildlife trafficking unattractive

The Federal government of Nigeria has been called upon to make wildlife hunting and trafficking unattractive.

There are widespread reports that illegal wildlife trafficking is now a multimillion dollars business and has been on the upscale in forest communities of Cross River State.

The counter widelife trafficking advisor, Wildlife Conservative Society of Nigeria (WCS), Elisha Bello spoke at a capacity building workshop on combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Trade, organized for staff of National Environmental Standard Regulatory Agency of Nigeria (NESRA) in Calabar.

He called for increased involvement of the government by way of stiffer legislative penalties against trafficking.

While comparing wildlife trafficking to drug dealing in Nigeria, he said more needs to be done to make the wildlife hunting an unattractive venture.

“The laws regulating wildlife trafficking in the country should be strengthened in order to mete out commensurate punishments to violators”, he stressed.

Bello also explained that in drug trafficking, the risk is high, and the reward is high but that in wildlife trafficking, the risk is low because of the weaker laws in place.

Coordinator of NESRA, Mr. Adamu Ibrahim said much was expected to safeguard the country’s wildlife species.

“We are participating in this workshop to ensure the conservation of our biodiversity. We have a duty to protect our wildlife so that they don’t go into extinction.

“The training is timely and will go a long way to build a sustainable environment.”

Also speaking, Country Director of the Nigeria Program in WCS, Andrew Dunn said the training is aimed at preparing the participants both intellectually, psychologically to enforce the laws.

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