La Nouvelle Tribune
January 17, 2018
2017 was a landmark year in the fight against wildlife crime in Benin. The
government and activists working to save protected wildlife have done a lot
of work for that.
Thanks to the technical support of the program “Support to the Application
of Laws on Fauna and Flora in Benin”, the public security forces took 28
traffickers in flagrante delicto. And justice did not fail to play its part
for the application of the law.
During the past year, 28 elephant tusks totaling 75.84 kg were seized from
traffickers. This equates to at least 14 elephants slaughtered to feed the
illegal ivory trade in Benin.
If, despite the many sensitizations and efforts of the government to
protect wildlife species, at least 14 elephants probably from W and
Pendjari parks were killed, it is clear that the actors must redouble their
efforts to hunt poachers and networks of wildlife.
Traffickers are determined to do battle with the elephant, this species
that is fully protected by Law No. 2002-16 of October 18, 2004, on wildlife
regime in the Republic of Benin.
Wildlife products illegally held and seized in 2017, those from elephants,
break the record.
This alert sounds like an invitation addressed to all the actors who must
strengthen their collaboration in order to protect the species for future
In addition to the elephants, Aalf-Benin’s technical support enabled the
public security forces to get their hands on 02 live pangolins, a patas and
16 turtle shells. These wildlife products illegally intended for sale and
seized, provide evidence that the survival of wild animals is uncertain in
light of what is happening.
Already, the government is squaring the ground. It is also necessary that
each actor really plays his role, to accompany the central power.
Justice at work
Convictions of traffickers issued by the courts, there are some who really
participate in the fight against wildlife crime. At the announcement of
these decisions, almost all activists had no hesitation to ovation the
actors of justice, and emphasize that law enforcement is an important
factor in the fight against wildlife crime.
We still remember the decision made by the court of Kandi, sentencing a
trafficker to 5 years imprisonment, with a fine of 800,000 CFA for a case
of marketing 20.09 kg of ivory in Gogounou, in October 2017.
Two months earlier, in August 2017, two other traffickers were sentenced to
48 and 40 months’ imprisonment, respectively, by the Natitingou court.
They were jointly and severally fined 400,000 CFA francs, and the payment
to the State of Benin of the sum of 3,000,000 CFA francs as damages.
In April 2017, the court of Parakou sentenced four traffickers to 12
months’ imprisonment, fined 300,000 CFA each, and 15,500,000 CFA in damages
to pay jointly and severally.
At the opposite of these decisions, there were those with suspended
sentences for which the activists never stop murmuring.
In view of the fight conducted in 2017 against wildlife crime in Benin, we
can safely say that this country is on the right track. However, efforts
must be maintained, and organized mass awareness campaigns undertaken to
stop the bleeding upstream. No animal of any protected species, must lose
their life in Benin under such conditions.
This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.