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Fight Against Blood Ivory
Sniffer dogs to be deployed at Mombasa port
(eTN) - Information was received over the weekend from Nairobi that the Kenya Wildlife Service is now set to use sniffer dogs at the seaport of Mombasa, besides already deploying the canine detectives at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the Moi International Airport in Mombasa. Recent seizures of blood ivory hidden in cargo containers or checked baggage at Nairobi’s international airport are largely attributed to the vigilance of the four-legged "sniffers" who have a high success rate in their ability to detect ivory, rhino horn, and other illegal animal products like skins and bones.
However, indications are that increasing amounts of blood ivory are being hidden in ordinary shipping containers, too, which leave the country through the sea port of Mombasa, and as an added measure of prevention and detection, the dogs are now going to be based at the port, too, together with their specially-trained handlers. This measure follows the recent confiscation of blood ivory in Thailand contained in a frozen fish container shipped out of Mombasa, which yielded over two tons of ivory.
In a related development, but not yet formally confirmed, it was learned that Kenya was once again setting an example for other African countries in the fight against poaching, by publicly burning confiscated ivory stocks to take the contraband permanently out of the market, a sharp reminder that other countries, including Tanzania, ought to follow such splendid examples instead of seeking permission from CITES to export blood ivory.