Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Animal poisoning on the rise in Chiredzi

Animal poisoning on the rise in Chiredzi

By Alex Bell
23 August 2012

The deliberate poisoning of animals in the Chiredzi River Conservancy is on 
the rise, with no legal action being taken against the known poachers 

SW Radio Africa has been told that the carcasses of scores of animals have 
been found in recent weeks, adding to the growing numbers of wildlife who 
have suffered a similar fate in recent years.

The people responsible are known poachers in the Conservancy who have 
previously been caught by police. But their cases have never been heard 
because the police either release them from custody, or their dockets go 

Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told 
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that poison is also being used as an 
“intimidatory tactic” by people trying to force the legitimate owners of 
conservancy land to handover their properties. He said it forms part of the 
larger problem that conservancy land is being targeted for ‘reform’, despite 
this being illegal.

“The acts are there to protect the animals and the conservancies, but there 
is no one to apply these laws. Now you’ve got a scenario where the guardians 
of the country’s wildlife have sanctioned hunting and are giving licences to 
trigger happy people who don’t know anything about hunting and ultimately it 
is the animals that suffer,” Rodrigues said.

Hunting licences in the Save Valley Conservancy have been handed out to top 
ZANU PF officials, as part of what Rodrigues says is “appeasement by the 
government where the party faithful are rewarded.”

An international tourism conference is supposed to get underway in Victoria 
Falls next month. But Rodrigues said the worsening poaching and the ongoing 
seizure of conservancy land makes it “embarrassing” that Zimbabwe is the 


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